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Broken Jaw

Broken Jaw Treatment

Self-Care at Home

 

If there is any question that you may have a broken jaw, you need to be checked by a doctor or a dentist specializing in oral surgery.

Ice should be applied to the jaw to help control the swelling on your way to be seen by the doctor. Sometimes you will need a paper cup to catch the drool or to spit blood into on the trip to the doctor or emergency department.

Medical Treatment

Many people who have jaw pain will not have a jaw fracture and will be treated with pain medications and instructions to eat a soft diet and to follow up with their doctor.

  • Those with fractures require further evaluation. Many fractures of the jawbone are associated with gum problems or tissue damage and should be considered open fractures. They will be treated with antibiotics.
  • You may receive a tetanus shot.
  • Pain will be addressed and managed effectively.
  • Many mandible fractures are stable, and the only treatment required is wiring the upper and lower teeth together. This will most commonly be performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
  • More unstable fractures often require surgery. Surgical methods using plates across the fracture site may allow you to have normal motion of the mandible and to eat shortly after surgery.

Next Steps

Follow-up

 

Many jaw fractures require surgery. Because of that, you may need to follow up with a surgeon.

All antibiotics need to be taken as instructed.

Follow all recommendations on diet.

Prevention

Because the most common causes of jaw fractures are the result of motor vehicle accidents and assaults, the best prevention is to drive carefully and choose your friends wisely. A more realistic step that can be taken is wearing protective devices in sporting activities.

Outlook

Depending on the nature and location of the fracture, the fracture may have to be fixed with surgery. Some fractures do not require surgery and are managed best with diet changes and pain control. Some people may need to be admitted to the hospital based on their injury.

Multimedia

Media file 1: Broken jaw. The dark angular line near the bottom left of the skull (viewer's right) is the fracture. Photo courtesy of Lisa Chan, MD; Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona.

broken jaw 1

Media type:  X-RAY

Synonyms and Keywords

mandibular fracture, malocclusion, broken jaw, fractured jaw

1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed on October 17, 2005

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Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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