Symptoms of a Broken JawThere are a few symptoms you may experience when you break your jaw:
|Jaw pain. This is the most common symptom.
|You may be unable to open your jaw fully.
|You may have trouble speaking.
|You may notice that your teeth don't line up the way they should.
|Numbness in your lower lip or chin.
If you think you have broken your jaw, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. You will be evaluated to confirm the break. A physical exam will be done, checking your face for swelling or malocclusion. Your jaw will be checked for stability. Finally, an X-ray will be taken to check the condition of your jaw.
One way an oral surgeon can help heal a broken jaw is by use of wires. These wires hold your jaws closed until fractures have healed. After a period of healing, the wires will be removed and your jaw examined for strength. If healing is not adequate, the wires will be replaced until they are properly healed. If healing is sufficient, the wires will stay off and you will start a series of jaw exercises to regain strength.
When fractures are more severe and unstable, you may require surgery to install plates and screws. These plates can remain as long as needed. In some instances, you have decent motion of the jaw after surgery and are able to eat.
After you have undergone treatment for a broken jaw, it is important to follow your surgeon's instructions to ensure a healthy, complication-free healing process. Most fractures can heal within 4 to 6 weeks. If you do experience complications, it is important to contact our office right away.