Hot vs Cold Therapy

Jaw Ice PackHot and Cold Therapy Gel Packs are frequently used not only by dental and oral surgeons performing wisdom teeth extractions, reconstructive jaw surgery, implant surgery, maxillary and mandibular trauma, and genioplasty but are also given to cosmetic and plastic surgery patients to reduce swelling and bruising.

Hot or Cold Therapy for Surgery Recovery?

The Cool Jaw® System is a combination of Compression and Thermal Therapy. Each jaw wrap is available with your choice of two or four gel packs. Four: so that patients can rotate packs between freezings.

Our traditional Reusable Cold Therapy Gel Packs freeze solid and remain cold for over an hour. Meanwhile, our Reusable Hot / Cold Therapy Gel Packs remain pliable when frozen and can also be heated.


Acute injury calls for Cryotherapy, during the initial stage of an acute injury (within 24-48 hours). The Cold Pack, due to temperature and weight, initially (approximately twenty minutes,) constricts local blood vessels and decreases tissue temperature. This constriction decreases blood flow and cell metabolism, which can limit hemorrhage and cell death in an acute traumatic injury. This results in the area healing faster, and a decrease in pain and swelling and an increase in lymphatic drainage.

The 4 Stages of Cryotherapy or Cold Therapy?

There are four official stages to cold therapy

  • The first stage is cold
  • The second is a prickling or burning
  • The third stage is an ache, sometimes rather painful
  • The fourth and most important stage is numbness. As soon as this stage is achieved, remove the cold. Time duration depends upon body weight. Twenty to thirty minutes should be the maximum time per area. If it is necessary to reapply, let the skin go to normal temperature or go back to the third stage of aching.

What Does Cold Do?

Cryotherapy or Cold therapy is one of the simplest, safest, and most effective care techniques for injury or pain in muscles, joints, bone, and soft tissue. Initially applied at the site of discomfort, Cold therapy:

  • controls swelling and inflammation
  • reduces tissue damage
  • fights blood clot formation
  • minimizes muscle spasms, and pain
  • enhances the flow of nutrients into the area
  • aids in the removal of metabolites (waste products)
  • increases strength, and promotes healing


Therma-therapy or heat therapy is– usually initiated 24-72 hours post-surgery/injury...during the chronic stage (after 48 hours) using a Cool Jaw® Hot/Cold Gel Pack heated can be very beneficial in promoting wellness.

Contrast Therapy?

Contrast therapy which consists of alternating hot and cold therapeutic treatments (1 min. with heat pack followed by 2-4 min. of cryotherapy with a cold pack; repeated three to six times) – is a soothing, balanced way to relieve pain by forcing tissue to adapt to sudden temperature change. This mini tissue workout is stimulation without stress and movement. Often used following a repetitive sports injury, this treatment method promotes recovery while providing rest simultaneously. Most effective 2-3 days following injury. Always finish with cold. Try it for temporary relief of TMJ pain.

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