What to Expect When You Get a Broken Jaw
If you have a jaw fracture or broken jaw, you may have questions about what to do and how to treat it. Read on for information on the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for jaw fractures. Ice, X-rays, and other options are also discussed. A fractured jaw can result in severe pain, so contact Dr. Punjabi as soon as possible to determine the exact cause of your injury and the proper treatment.
Getting an Appointment
The first step in treating a broken jaw is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. The doctor will check for obvious signs of damage to the jaw, including swelling, bruising, or deformity. He may also check for tenderness in the ear canal, which could indicate damage to the jaw joint. You will also be asked to open your mouth so that your doctor can check for any loose teeth or bleeding. If your jaw is swollen or crooked, the doctor will order X-rays or a CT scan to diagnose the problem.
X-rays for a jaw break can show two different kinds of broken jaws. Simple jaw fractures are closed and don’t result in a break in the skin or mucosa, while compound jaw fractures are open to the environment. Comminuted jawbones include pieces of crushed bone and splinters, and greenstick fractures involve one section of the jawbone that is bent while another section is left unbroken. The most serious types of jaw fractures, such as those that involve the face, eyes, or nose, are impacted fractures.
After a jaw fracture, you may need to have your mouth wired together to prevent bacteria from entering your mouth and causing infection. Jaw wiring also helps the bones heal by keeping them immobile. However, it can cause discomfort and may require wire cutters to remove. You can ask Dr. Punjabi about the various options available.
Initially, your mouth may be in pain from the fracture. You should take regular painkillers to manage your discomfort. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics given through your arm to prevent infection. Generally, it takes between two and six weeks for your bones to fully heal. Your doctor may also perform X-rays to check whether the fractures are healing properly. Depending on your situation, you may need to take a fortnight off from work to allow them to heal.
The treatment options for a jaw fracture depend on the type of fracture and the location of the jawbone. Minor fractures may only require pain medications and a liquid diet to reduce pain. However, more serious fractures may require surgery to realign the jaw and wire the upper and lower teeth together. This surgery is usually successful for most patients and allows you to resume eating soft foods soon after the procedure. If surgery is necessary, you may need to continue your treatment after six to eight weeks.
The recovery period after a jaw fracture can be prolonged if you don’t start a vigorous exercise program immediately after the fracture. Initially, you’ll need to limit the intensity of your exercises, and try to stay away from strenuous activities for four weeks. It’s best to limit exercise to light activities until your jaw is fully healed. Also, avoid contact sports and activities that could cause further damage. You can also take nutritional supplements recommended by y
If you have a jaw fracture or a broken jaw, please contact us. We will be glad to answer your questions as briefly as possible and schedule an appointment. Make sure to discuss this serious issue with a professional like Dr. Punjabi. Contact us today!