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Dealing with a broken or dislocated jaw

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2022 | Car Accidents |

Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, on the job or while at an activity, a broken or dislocated jaw can cause serious pain and other interference with your life in California. Broken jaws are generally caused by an accident or injury and affect the lower jaw or mandible. While some broken jaws can heal by themselves with care, others require ongoing or extensive interventions.

Injuries to the jawbone

The jawbone not only keeps your teeth in place, it also helps you to swallow, speak and chew. While the upper jawbone does not move, the lower jawbone can move forward, backward and sideways. Like other bones, the jawbone can be fractured or broken. It can also be dislocated when the lower jawbone is moved out of the temporomandibular joints, which connect it to the skull.

Effects of a broken or dislocated jaw

A broken or dislocated jaw makes it nearly impossible to talk or eat. You may find it difficult to breathe and this injury typically causes severe pain, requiring immediate emergency medical care. Broken jaws can be caused by car accidents, , falls, sports injuries, or assaults. After broken noses, they are the second most common type of fracture on the face. Dislocated jaws can have similar causes but can also take place after vomiting, yawning or while getting some types of dental procedures.

Most broken and dislocated jaws are diagnosed with an X-ray or a CT scan after patients arrive in the hospital with dental injuries, bleeding, numbness, facial pain or an inability to open or close the mouth. The treatment can include care to reduce pain as well as using wires or metal plates to help the bone heal and keep them in place. You may need to eat a soft or liquid diet for several weeks during the healing process.