Why You Should Know About Adult Jaw Fracture
Your jaw is made from bone and houses your gums, teeth, etc. On occasion, usually due to trauma, people break their jawbone. It is a painful injury requiring specific treatment. It can be weeks to months before an adult jaw fracture heals completely.
We’re going to examine jaw fractures in adults to better educate those who have experienced this unfortunate occurrence, or those who may, in the future.
How Do I Know If My Jaw Is Fractured?
Here are the symptoms and signs that could point to a fracture of your jawbone:
- Trouble closing or opening your mouth
- Difficulty putting any pressure on your teeth when they are placed together
- Missing or broken teeth (likely due to trauma)
- When you move your jaw, pain toward the front of your ear
- Around or in your jaw, bruising, pain, or swelling
Diagnosing A Jaw Fracture
In order to view a broken jawbone, an MRI, CT scan, or x-ray will be done of your jaw or head. In order for the picture to better show the broken area, contrast liquid may be used. Some people have allergic reactions to this contrast liquid, so if you know you’re one of them, notify your dentist/doctor.
No metal should be worn or taken into an MRI room because it can result in injury. If your body contains any metal, notify the healthcare provider doing the MRI.
Treating a Jaw Fracture
The following are used in jaw fracture treatment:
- If the fracture is severe, in order to return the jaw to its normal position, surgery may be needed. Screws, plates, and pins may be used to secure the jawbone. Surgery may additionally be needed for other issues, as well.
- To keep your jaw from moving, jaw wiring may be required. This encourages proper healing. In case of emergency, a small pair of wire cutters will be supplied to you (and you will be instructed as to how to use them). At all times, until the wiring is removed, the cutters should be kept with you.
- If an open wound exists, antibiotics may be used. This will help fight off bacteria that could cause an infection.
- Your healthcare provider may also suggest (or give you) pain medication.
Living with A Jaw Fracture
While your jaw fracture is healing, follow the below-listed advice:
- Avoid any kind of jaw pressure – sleep on your back, don’t allow things to push on your jaw, don’t clench your teeth, etc.
- While your jaw heals, avoid playing sports. When it’s time to resume your favorite activity, your healthcare provider will let you know. A sports injury could break your jaw again, bruise it, or cause bleeding.
- 4 to 6 times a day, clean your mouth. Instructions as to how to do this can be received from your healthcare provider. To brush your teeth, a special toothbrush will be required as well as the use of a water flosser.
- Blend your food or eat soft foods – as advised by your healthcare provider.
- To help decrease pain and swelling, apply ice packs. Use as directed or, every hour, for approximately 15 minutes at a time.
At Real Smile Dental, we handle emergencies as quickly, efficiently, and painlessly as possible. If you have experienced some type of trauma resulting in broken teeth, a broken jaw, etc., you may decide to have those teeth restored or, if possible, replaced. Contact us today to find out more about emergency treatment procedures or to schedule an appointment.