Can a Lower Facelift & Platysmaplasty Cause or Exacerbate TMJ Dysfunction?

I had a lower facelift 6 months ago and I have a lot of uncomfortable tightness around ears, jaw and back of head. Previous to the surgery I had a some clicking in the TMJ but nothing that ever caused discomfort. I don't have any problems opening mouth, chewing, jaw pain etc, just the tightness. My ENT didn't know if the surgery may be causing TMJ problems. Is that a possibility in your opinion? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 9

Tightness after face lift

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From your description it sounds more like your tightness is from the tightening of the face lift itself, and not related to your jaw joint.  I would think that these sensations will slowly resolve on their own as the healing from your surgery continues.  Best wishes!

TMJ pain exacerbation after Facelift?

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      TMJ difficulties should not be made worse after facelift.  I would agree with others that the tight feeling is normal due to suture placement along the soft tissues of the face. 

Pain post face

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I don't think your facelift would cause any TMJ problems.The tightness may be due to sutures your surgeon place to tighten soft tissues and this can take soem time to loosen up .

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Facelifts, lite lifts and tmj

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facelifts, lite lifts and tmj

because the smas tightening overlies the massater muscle

this may make the jaw feel tighter and change the motion..  it should resolve in a few weeks but you may need to consult your dentist or where your guard

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Unlikely that a facelift would cause TMJ pain

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Unusual pain syndromes can occur after any surgical procedure.  I have certainly seen patients who had some degree of temporary discomfort following a facelift.  

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with TMJ then I would recommend consulting with an oral surgeon for a thorough evaluation.   There is no reason why you could not be having two conditions occurring at the same time.   

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Facelifts Do Not Cause TMJ Dysfunction

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True TMJ dysfunction is not going to be caused by facelift surgery. The facelift may make the tissues tight around the ears but will not cause the actual jaw joint to have functioning problems. You may be confusing masseter muscle tightness with TMJ which it is not. Normal jaw opening and chewing rules out a TMJ problem. If there was a SMAS component to your facelift, that could create some masseter muscle tightness. Over time, that feeling will eventually subside but it is not a cause for concern.

TMJ after face lift

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I have seen this in a few patients. Yours seems unlikely to be from TMJ.

  • Face lift sutures in the deep fascia above the ear can cause spasm of jaw muscles. This usually subsides in weeks.
  • Heavy absorbable sutures can cause discomfort for six months.
  • Face lift tissue stiffness can take six months to subside.
  • If your tightness is improving, even slow,s it's probably your way of healing.
  • If it is not, you might consult a neurologist for an answer.
  • Hope this helps!

TMJ from a facelift?

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It is somewhat common to have tightness following a facelift for several months after your procedure.  Tightness should continue to improve over time.  The symptoms you are describing sound more like tightness related to the facelift, but not necessarly TMJ.  TMJ disorders results from inflammation around the TMJ joint, but not usually a tightness that you are describing. 

Jessica Kulak, MD
Fairfax Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Facelift and TMJ

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TMJ is related to the joint between the mandible and the skull, this joint is deep and away from a facelift, where it is more of the superficial tissues that get re-suspended. I do not see how a facelift and a platysmaplasty could have any effect on the TMJ.

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.