Jaw Trauma

Trauma to the jaw may result in broken jaw or dislocated jaw. Broken jaw is a fracture in the jaw bone. Dislocated jaw is when the lower part of the jaw moves out of position at one or both joints where it joins the skull.

Causes

A dislocated jaw or broken jaw may result from an injury to the face such as a motor vehicle accident, assault, industrial accident, recreational or sports injury.

Symptoms of Broken Jaw

    • Most immediate symptoms- pain, swelling and bleeding

    • Swelling on face, stiff and painful jaws

    • Bleeding from mouth

    • Breathing difficulties

    • Numbness and bruising in face

    • Abnormal facial appearance usually a lumpy appearance

    • Missing or Loose tooth

    • Pain and tenderness while chewing or speaking

Symptoms of Dislocated Jaw

    • Facial or jaw pain on which becomes worse on moving jaw

    • Misaligned bite

    • Drooling

    • Difficulty in speaking

    • Protruding jaw

Treatments

Jaw trauma should be treated as emergency because of the risks of breathing problems and bleeding. Care should be taken to stabilize the lower jaw and keep the airway open until medical care arrives.

For fractured/broken jaw

A bandage (temporary) is wrapped around the head and under the jaw to hold the jaw in position. Treatment depends on how bad the fracture is. Minor fractures heal on their own. You would be put on pain medications and liquid to soft food diet. Surgery is required in case of moderate to major injuries.

For dislocated jaw

In most cases your doctor would be able to manipulate the jaw back to position. Anesthesia and muscle relaxants may be provided to minimize the pain and loosen the jaw muscles. In some cases, to put the tempero mandibular joints in position surgery might be required.

Care should be taken not to open the mouth widely for about 6 weeks. The jaws should be supported with hands while sneezing or yawning.

Recovery in cases of jaw trauma requires a lot of patience. You might not be able to open your mouth wide open. You would be put on painkillers and a liquid or soft food diet. It is important to note that people who have a history of jaw trauma are at an increased risk of a future dislocation. Safe practices while playing sports like wearing helmet, using mouth guards etc are very important. Remember, jaw trauma requires prompt medical attention. At Dr. Mukul Dhabolkar’s Dental clinic our team of experts is specialized in dealing with problems related to fractured or dislocated jaw.