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Jaw injury

Jaw symptoms may be caused by:

  • A dislocated jaw, which may occur when the lower jawbone (mandible) is pulled apart from one or both of the joints connecting it to the base of the skull at the temporomandibular (TM) joints. This can cause problems even if the jaw pops back into place.
  • A broken jaw, which may cause trouble breathing, speaking, or swallowing. You may have bleeding from the gums or between the teeth. A broken jaw may also cut or puncture the inside of your mouth or your face. Bacteria from your mouth can enter a cut or puncture wound and cause a serious infection. A broken jaw requires medical treatment.

When you injure your jaw area, mouth and dental injuries may also occur. A tooth may crack, chip, break, be knocked out, become loose, or jam into the gum. Your teeth may not fit together properly. Your lip or the inside of your mouth or tongue may get scraped, cut, punctured, or torn. You may need to have stitches. Call your dentist for an evaluation if you have had a dental injury.

Recommended Related to Oral Health

Children and Orthodontics

If your child has crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, it may be time to pay a visit to an orthodontist. An orthodontist specializes in perfecting smiles using orthodontic appliances, such as: bands brackets wires headgear rubber bands retainers WebMD takes a look at common forms of orthodontics and gives you the facts you need to make an informed decision about orthodontic treatment.

Read the Children and Orthodontics article > >

A jaw disorder called temporomandibular disorder occasionally can begin after a jaw injury, although more commonly it occurs over time from jaw tension.

Author Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Updated May 11, 2009

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 11, 2009
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

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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