Jaw Fractures: What is it, what to expect, and how to help the healing process
What is a Jaw Fracture?
One of the most frequent facial injuries that people can endure is a broken jaw or jaw fracture. This type of injury is in direct relationship to one or more temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Some patients with more extensive jaw fractures may need to have their jaw wired shut to promote healthy and proper healing.
Jaw fractures are made up of approximately 70% of most maxillofacial accidents. This is mainly because the mandible has less support from the cranium more than any other region of the face.
The most common ways jaw fractures occur:
• Car Accidents
• Physical Assault
• Industrial Accidents
• Accidental Trip or Falls
• Sport or recreational injury
Signs to look out for that may suggest jaw fractures:
• The jaw will typically crack in two places, at the site of collision and also in the spot directly opposite of the collision site.
• Ache and loss of function to chewing, talking and trouble breathing
• Bruising of the neck and face
• Oral Bleeding
Always remember that when it comes to jaw fractures, any kind of damage targeted towards the mandible bone should be checked out by a medical professional within the first 24 hours of an accident.
The Healing Process
Jaw fractures surgery is a major procedure and is completely different from any other dental procedure. Jaw fractures recovery can be very uncomfortable for the first several days but keep in mind that you have a team of professions helping you during the first section of your jaw fractures recovery. It’s extremely important to take all antibiotics that are prescribed by your doctor. When eating always follow your post-surgery recommendations. Most patients lose weight so remember this is normal. When recovering from jaw fractures always remember to apply ice to the jaw to help control swelling and have a cup handy to help catch the extra drool or blood that might occur. Drooling and swelling is normal so it would be beneficial to keep your head elevated while sleeping. It’s important to keep a positive mind and try to keep to your daily routines. Try taking brief walks throughout the day and keep in touch with family and friends.
If other injuries are present or abnormal bleeding occurs during jaw fractures recovery always remember to contact your doctor of 911 for emergencies.