A dislocated or fractured jaw is an emergency situation, and it is one that warrants a trip to the hospital emergency room. If you do experience one of these injuries, there are a few things that you can expect in terms of treatment.
Treating a Fracture
Depending on the extent of your injury, treating a fracture might call for surgical intervention, although a clean break might be able to heal on its own by simply immobilizing the jaw. If your jawbone has displaced breaks or multiple breaks, surgical repair will usually be required.
In the case of a severe break, your jaw may need to be wired shut in order to promote healing. Elastic bands and wires will keep your jaw closed and your bite in the correct position.
Treating a Dislocation
If your jaw has been dislocated, but the bone isn't broken, your doctor will need to manipulate it back into its correct position. Without this, it will remain dislocated and won't fix itself.
You'll be given muscle relaxants and pain relievers to help the muscles loosen up, and then your doctor will likely try to put the joint back into its socket manually. If that doesn't work, surgery might be required.
After your dislocation, your doctor will likely want to immobilize the area so that your joint has time to heal. This can involve wrapping a bandage under your chin and around your head so that you cannot open your jaw wide.
Anti-inflammatory medications are usually recommended in order to help with any swelling that you might experience.
Recovering from a Dislocated or Fractured Jaw
Patience is crucial during the recovery process after a traumatic jaw injury. For at least six weeks, your movement of your jaw will be severely restricted, and you'll likely need to stick to a liquid diet. However, after that time frame, you should be on your way to recovery.
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Dr. Michael Allard 18555 N 79th Ave, Suite A-103 Glendale, AZ 85308-8370 New Patients: (623) 738-2564 Current Patients: (623) 412-0310
About Us Dr. Michael Allard has been delivering outstanding care in oral and maxillofacial surgery here in Arizona since 2000. As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Glendale, AZ, Dr. Allard manages a wide variety of problems relating to the mouth, teeth and facial regions.