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First Aid & Emergencies

Broken Jaw Treatment

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Call 911

If the person has: 

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A possible spine injury (do not move the person)

Or if the person is:

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  • In shock (faint, pale, rapid shallow breathing)

 

1. Get Medical Help Immediately

  • Go to a hospital emergency room.

2. Prevent Choking

  • Allow any blood in the mouth to dribble out or have the person spit it into a handkerchief.
  • Without touching the roots, gently remove any broken or lost teeth from the mouth and place them in cold milk, salt water, or saliva. Take the broken teeth in their solution to the health care provider or emergency room with you.

3. Immobilize Jaw

  • Do not attempt to align the jaws.
  • Make a bandage out of a handkerchief, scarf, or necktie, and tie it around the jaw and over the top of the head to keep the jaw from moving. The bandage should be easily removable in case the person starts to vomit.

4. Control Swelling

  • Apply cold compresses.

5. Follow Up

Medical treatment depends on the location and severity of the break.

  • A surgeon may be able to set the bone without surgery although wires may need to be placed to stabilize the jaw.
  • Surgery may be needed to repair the break. The surgeon will place plates or screws to hold the broken pieces of bone together while they heal.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Scott Keller, MD on November 19, 2013

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