Jaw Fracture or Dislocation
The jaw is a very important part of the body and it vital for people to have the ability to breathe, eat and talk. Any jaw pain can make it difficult or inhibit these everyday functions. Pain can be caused by many conditions but a fractured jaw can be a common one which you may not be aware you even have.
The jaw consists of two bones, the maxillary (upper jaw) and the mandible (lower jaw) which work together to function properly. The mandible is responsible for most mouth functions like opening and closing the mouth and eating. When a bone cracks or breaks it is known as a fracture. A fractured jaw is the 3rd most common type of facial break after the nose and cheek. A fractured jaw bone can be caused by injuries such as falls, sports injuries, or car accidents. If you think you may have fractured you jaw it is important to book an appointment here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic to get it examined.
A fractured jaw is different to a dislocated jaw but they are both serious and it can be hard to tell the difference between them. A dislocation happens when the mandible moves out of alignment at the TMJ.
Signs of a fractured jaw
- Swelling, bruising or numbness of the face
- Pain or stiffness in the jaw
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loose or Broken teeth
Signs of a dislocated jaw
- Difficulty talking
- Not being able to close your mouth
- Teeth or bite are misaligned or the jaw is protruding
An injury to the jaw is an emergency and should be treated as soon as possible. Until you get to a dentist or doctor, make sure to stabilize your jaw and ensure that you can breathe. If the fracture is severe it may need surgery or for your jaw to be wired shut but most jaw breaks heal by themselves if the movement of it is limited for some time. The recovery time for a fractured jaw can be at least 6 weeks.
If you have dislocated your jaw the doctor or dentist may be able to move it back into position using the hands to relax that jaw. In more severe cases surgery is the best option for a full recovery.