A broken jaw can be painful and affects many fundamental activities such as eating, talking, and breathing. If you experience a hairline fracture jaw, immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further complications. You can also book an appointment at SLDC’s clinic in Pyrmont to ensure that your mouth is in good condition while addressing your fracture. Keep reading to understand what can cause a broken or dislocated jaw, the symptoms related to it, and what you can expect for treatment.
A Broken or Dislocated Jaw
Jaw fractures are injuries to one or both of the joints, called temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These jaw joints connect your lower jawbone to the skull and can crack, break, or become unhinged from the skull. The disengagement of the jaw joint is identified as a dislocation.
Furthermore, a dislocated, broken, or fractured jaw can cause eating, talking, and breathing issues. Urgent medical intervention is crucial to limit complications and improve healing.
Causes of Jaw Fracture
Encountering facial trauma is the main reason for a broken or dislocated jaw. Usual kinds of injury that can cause dislocations or fractures in the jawbone are:
- motor vehicle accidents
- physical assault in the face
- accidental falls in the home
- sports injuries
- industrial or workplace accidents
If you had any of these accidents, it would be better to visit your dentist at least twice a year to keep your jaw strong and healthy. In fact, this is a standard way to ensure the health of your mouth and jaw.
Broken jaw symptoms include:
- jaw pain
- jaw stiffness
- facial or jaw swelling
- discomfort when eating
- bleeding, including bleeding from the mouth
- numbness and bruising in the face
- breathing difficulties
- dental-related discomforts, such as numbness in the gums or loosened teeth
The indications of a dislocated jaw can be different than those of a broken jaw. In fact, the pain in this injury may become worse when you move your mouth or body. Additional manifestations include:
- Speaking may be troublesome
- Jaw might appear to protrude too much
- Your teeth do not align properly, and your bite feels strange.
- The irregular bite keeps you from closing your mouth entirely, which may cause drooling.
Treatment for Jaw Injuries
Treating your fractured jaw is important to take care of your oral health. If you break or dislocate your jaw, it will usually be treated as an emergency. It is vital to support your lower jaw to stabilize it and keep your airway open while waiting for medical treatment.
Dislocated Jaw Treatment
A doctor can turn a dislocated jaw back into the normal position. At times, they do this manually after giving you local anesthetics and muscle relaxants. These medical interventions are necessary to limit the pain and help your jaw muscles loosen up for manipulation. In severe conditions, surgical procedures might be needed to set the TMJ back into the correct position.
Broken Jaw Treatment
Treatment for a broken jaw may also require surgical procedures, depending on the severity of the injury.
A clean break might recover all alone while your jaw is immobilized. Numerous cracks or breaks of the jawbone or the part of the bone pushed out of the way might require surgery.
Wiring Your Jaw Shut
Mandible fractures, whether dislocated or broken jaws, are bandaged or wired shut during recovery. Your doctor or oral and maxillofacial surgeon will wrap a bandage over your head and under your chin to keep you from opening your jaw wide. They may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen to dull the pain and reduce swelling.
In addition, serious jaw injuries may need wiring the upper and lower teeth to advance healing. The doctor will put wires and elastic bands to keep your jaw shut and your bite in place.
Furthermore, it would be best to always have a pair of scissors or wire cutters near you during your recovery. This will help open the wires if you experience choking or vomiting. Suppose you need to cut the wire, inform your doctor to place new wires as soon as possible.
Soft Diet During Recovery
Eating soft foods during recovery from a dislocated or broken jaw is essential to follow. Stay away from chewy or crunchy foods, even if you only have a minor jaw fracture that will heal all alone. Foods like raw produce, fresh meats, or crunchy snack foods can cause pain and strain to your healing jaw. A soft diet that incorporates the following can be effortless to eat:
- canned meat
- well-cooked rice
- well-cooked pasta
- canned fruit
While your jaw is recovering, a healthy eating diet implies eating more often than you are most likely used to doing. Rather than eating three or four meals each day, focus on six to eight little meals. Eating small meals throughout the day assists you with meeting your necessary carbohydrate count. Smaller, frequent eating can likewise give a variety of flavors when you are drinking eight smoothies a day.
Recovery and Outlook
Though the recovery from a jaw fracture may require patients, the outlook for most individuals who experience a broken or dislocated jaw is very promising. In fact, nonsurgical fractures and dislocations heal in four to eight weeks, while recovery from a surgical injury could require several months. Most of the time, jaw fractures recover successfully, and there are not many long-term impacts.
Nonetheless, you are bound to have repeating joint pain in your jaw after the damage. Usually, this condition is referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ disorder. Individuals who have dislocated jaw may increase the danger for future dislocation as well.
In any case, remember that a jaw fracture is considered an emergency condition. Hence, if you have a dislocated or broken jaw, look for medical care treatment right away.
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