A broken jaw can occur from any number of circumstances. When it is the result of trauma, it can be hard to determine if we have actually broken our jaw or not. This is particularly true with regard to an auto accident. The trauma alone of being in an accident coupled with the overwhelming soreness and stiffness can make the symptoms of a broken jaw pale in comparison. So, how do you know if you have broken your jaw or not?
If there is pain located near the ear, indicating a TMJ or TMD facture or if the pain gets considerably worse while chewing or speaking or if there is significant bruising or swelling of the face or bleeding from the mouth you might have a broken jaw. Stiffness in the jaw while chewing or if the patient has a difficult time open their mouth wide or cannot close their mouth completely can all indicate a broken or fractured jaw.
How do I Treat a Broken Jaw?
Treatment regiments vary greatly when treating a broken jaw. Obviously, the recommended treatment will be dependent upon how badly broken the jawbone is. If it is merely a minor fracture, these can heal without any intervention. Ice, cold compresses and anti-inflammatory medication will suffice along with a liquid diet to give the jaw a chance to properly heal. In the case of a bad fracture, surgery will be necessary.
Some patients opt to not treat a broken jaw which can be a mistake. When the jaw is broken it can cause a misalignment of teeth and make it difficult to chew and speak. It can also cause more long-term problems such as tooth decay. When the teeth do not have the correct amount of pressure on them like the kind that happens when they chew properly the underlying gum structure begins to deteriorate.
Questions about broken jaws? Do not hesitate to call.
ORAL SURGERY SPECIALISTS OF AUSTIN
Derrick Flint, MD, DDS | Matthew Largent, MD, DDS