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November 21, 2022

Ruptured or Broken Jaws- Diagnosis, Treatment & Recovery

How to Diagnose and Cure a Broken or Ruptured Jaw?

Dental care is only one aspect of oral wellness. The jaw bone is an essential component of many of your daily activities, including talking, breathing, and eating.

A fracture or damage to one or more of the hinges that attach your lower jawbone to your cranium is known as a dislocated or fractured jaw.

Accidents and injuries frequently result in fractured jaws. You may also have fractures in other parts of your face, but these injuries mostly damage your lower jaw.

A temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dislocates a jaw, which can be treated carefully to recover. With serious jaw damage, you might need to have your jaw wired shut for several weeks. Both disorders can be painful and make speaking and eating impossible or difficult. So, in order to reduce problems and hasten healing, prompt medical intervention is required.

The lower jawbone is most frequently affected by a fracture or dislocation. Breaks can happen in:

  • The part that holds your teeth in place (body)
  • The angle of the curve in your jaw
  • Joint (round shaped) at the apex of the jaw (condyle)
  • Point of intersection of both the sides of the lower jaw (symphysis)

Let's examine the specific distinctions between a broken and a displaced jaw.

Fractured jaw

The majority of fractured jaws are because of the following reasons:

  • Accidents, such as car accidents, industrial accidents, or any other mishaps
  • Trauma and assaults
  • Accidents due to sports activities

The following are the characteristics of a broken jaw:

  • Oedema that includes face swelling and pain
  • Respiratory problems and breathing difficulties due to bleeding from the mouth
  • Stiffness and jaw pain during chewing
  • Facial numbness and bruises in the face from dental procedures, such as numb gums or loose teeth

Dislocated jaw

A jaw can dislocate for people with TMJ disorders and those with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a condition that leads to loose joints and tissues). Jaw dislocation is also possible while:

  • Undergoing a dental operation
  • Widely opening the mouth
  • Yawning
  • Vomiting

The symptoms of a broken jaw can differ from those of a dislocated jaw. The signs of displaced jaw are quite different from the broken jaw, but the effects of not getting treatment are very similar. Severe Pain can be experienced in both the cases along with the following :

  • Jaws could seem to stick out excessively, just as in an overbite
  • Speaking challenges
  • Bite feels odd and that teeth do not even line up as they typically do
  • Inability to close mouth due to an irregular bite, which could result in drooling

How is a fractured or dislocated jaw diagnosed?

To evaluate the injuries, medical professionals may conduct a physical examination or order the following diagnostic tests:

  • X-rays are taken to look for fractured or misaligned bones.
  • CT scan to check for internal injuries or bleeding after an accident, other fractures in the face or a fractured upper jaw.

A dentist or oral surgeon can take care of a minor dislocation. A specialist, such as a cosmetic and reconstructive specialist, a neck and head surgeon, or an oral surgeon would be needed for a significant fracture that necessitates surgery.

What Medical Procedure is Used to Treat Jaw Injuries?

Your jaw injury will probably be handled as an urgent case if it occurs. Hold your lower jaw while you wait for medical attention to rebalance it and maintain an open airway. Avoid attempting to restore your own jaw because doing so could lead to additional pain and discomfort.

Treatment of broken or fractured jaws?

Depending on the extent of the trauma, a fractured jaw requires different treatments. Once the jaw is immobilised, minor breaks might heal completely on their own. It may be necessary to undergo surgery to treat multiple fractures in the jawbone or breaks in the area of the jaw that is pushed out to the side. Surgery may be necessary in some circumstances, and your doctor might advise:

  • Wiring both the upper and the lower jaw to keep the broken bones together for several weeks.
  • Using metal plates in the broken area to heal and fuse the broken bone.

Wiring may be necessary to encourage healing in major injuries. Your jaw is held shut and your mouth is adjusted by wires and resistance bands. Throughout your rehabilitation, have a pair of nail clippers or scissors available at home. If you vomit or choke, you can use the tools to break open the wiring. Inform your doctor if they are to be cut so that new wires can be replaced without any delay.

Treatment of dislocated jaw?

A broken jaw needs to be put back together by a medical professional. Your doctor may occasionally perform this manually. To lessen the discomfort and assist your jaw muscles to relax enough to permit the manipulation, you will be given local numbing creams or anaesthetics. In some circumstances, surgery would be required to return the TMJ to its normal position.

Sometimes, a minor fracture might only need to be bandaged to prevent you from moving your jaw or open widely, according to your doctor. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs help lessen pain and swelling.

What are the dietary choices for jaw fractures and dislocation?

As you heal from a misplaced or broken jaw, you must adhere to a soft diet. Stay away from items like fresh meat, raw veggies, and anything that is chewy or crunchy. Take soft diet consisting of:

  • Packaged meat
  • Perfectly cooked pasta
  • Soup
  • Well-prepared rice
  • Canned fruit

An even more radical dietary modification will be required for a wired jaw. While recovering, you will need to consume your recommended daily intake of minerals and vitamins via straw because you won't be in a position of opening and closing your mouth. By pureeing vegetables, fruits, and well-prepared meats, you may get the nutrients and protein you need to keep yourself healthy.

When your jaw is wired, healthy eating entails eating more regularly than you are usually accustomed to. You can consume the necessary calories by eating small meals throughout the day. Consume a warm meal. After your accident, your teeth could be more susceptible to severe temperatures than usual and either end of the temperature range can hurt.

Also Read: Tartar & Plaque: Exploring The Key Differences & Prevention Methods

What are the Restoration and Healing Timelines for an Injured or Displaced Jaw?

Dislocations and non-surgical fractures mend in approximately 4 to 8 weeks, whereas surgical fractures may take many months to heal. There are usually few long-term consequences though the jaw heals effectively. Your healthcare professional might suggest jaw strengthening exercises once the healing process is complete.

However, a long-term impact could be a frequent recurrence of jaw pain, also termed as a temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ). People who have already had a jaw dislocation are more likely to get it again. When you cough, yawn or sneeze, support your chin to prevent more pain or damage to your jaw.

Although a complete recovery could take several months, most people recover from fractured or damaged jaws. During your rehabilitation, it's crucial to adhere to your healthcare provider's advice. Do not delay in seeking appropriate medical care if you think you have a fractured or displaced jaw.

For any issues relating to a fractured or dislocated jaw, get in touch with 4 Squares Dentistry, the best dentists in Medavakkam, today!

Our Branches

6/13, First Floor,
Velachery main road,
Medavakkam, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu - 600100.


141-168, Velachery Rd,
New Kunagkurichi, Gowriwakkam,
Sembakkam, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu - 600117.

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