Is It Unwise to Chew Gum After Facelift Surgery?

I heard that chewing gum has some advantages, e.g. exercise against a double chin but is there a period where you advice your patients NOT to chew gum?

Doctor Answers 16

Chewing gum after a facelift? Is it okay?

testingcapturing the arm after a facelift is really not advised during the early recovery. But by the second month or so it's really not a problem. The sad fact that we cannot exercise our skin is evident in the failings of all of the various types of mechanical exercises and treatments advocated in the press. Exercising the underlying muscles of course can occur it doesn't seem to translate into improved facial form or aesthetics. Minimizing facial movement for the first few weeks after surgery is encouraged to allow the skin to properly adhere to the underlying muscle preventing the creation of fluid that can cause firmness for scarring both very undesirable. Openface those should be almost painless. That is because the areas are in general numb for a number of weeks or months following surgery.


Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Facelift Recovery

Hello and thank  you for the question.

In general, following a facelift, I suggest my patients refrain from gum chewing or anything that involves repetitive facial motions, for a period of no less than 3 weeks. This allows ample time for the face to heal. 

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. , Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Is It Unwise to Chew Gum After Facelift Surgery?

  For the larger, more invasive Face Lift techniques, I would ask my Face Lift patients to avoid gum chewing and facial movements during the first few weeks however, with the less invasive Minimal Incision Face Lifts, this isn't an issue IMHO.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Gum chewing after facelift not the best idea

The period right after facelift you should try to rest your face, and avoid excessive talking or chewing to let the swelling settle down and avoid bleeding. Gum is not a very good idea.
Best of luck,
Peter Johnson, MD

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Chewing gum after facial surgery

I would avoid chewing gum for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery. During this time I like my patients to have their face be relatively "quiet" to allow it to heal the best.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Chewing gum after facelift is NOT a good idea!

Chewing gum may be a pleasurable experience for some, but it is neither good nor advisable for healing facelift patients. As the skin flaps heal, gum chewing can cause a couple of (serious) problems.

One, repeated contracture of the facial (jaw) muscles could cause bleeding in incompletely-healed blood vessels, causing lumps and irregularities (minor bleeding) in your face, or hematoma requiring re-operation to evacuate the clots beneath the facial skin.

Two, gum may stimulate significant parotid gland saliva production, and if the gland was irritated or slightly injured in the facelift skin flap elevation, saliva could collect beneath the skin flap rather than draining into the mouth as it normally does. Salivary cysts can cause healing problems, infection, and may require re-operation.

If you really believe that you can "exercise" a double chin away with ANY kind of facial exercise, I could probably interest you in a Mark Eden bust developer! (This was a plastic spring-loaded device from the 1970's that a woman could use to "exercise" her chest muscles for breast enlargement--it worked as well as the estrogen bust creams and the breast-growth pills sold today!)

Also, you should not chew gum on the morning before surgery. Even though you are not "eating or drinking" as advised, chewing gum stimulates stomach acid production and increases the risk of lung injury from aspiration pneumonitis.

Just say "NO" to gum! At least if you're having surgery. And for at least a couple of weeks after facelift. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Chewing Gum After A Facelift

While many surgeons will tell you not to chew gum, no studies have been done to say one way or the other.  I do not restrict my patients in any way with regard to gum chewing or any exercise for that matter and have never experienced any problem.  I will tell you that chewing nicotine gum is not advised and there are lots of studies that confirm that problems can occur if you do.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Chewing Gum after Facelift Surgery

    Compulsive gum chewing may not be a great idea after surgery, but it is hard to limit many aspects of life such as talking and food chewing.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Don't Chew Gum After Facelift

As gum chewing causes the excess movement of your facial muscles, I advise against chewing gum for a few weeks. Chewing one's food is natural and one must eat so chewing food is fine; gum chewing isn't a necessity and if one can avoid, they should so that the facelift heals optimally and with the results one has

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Allow your face to rest and heal

You should allow your face rest and heal post surgery. Therefore, I advise my patients to avoid excessive jaw movement (such as that caused by chewing gum) for the first several days.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 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.