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    Broken Jaw


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    A broken jaw is an injury that causes a fracture of your mandible or maxilla. You could suffer a broken jaw even if excessive pressure is applied around your facial area during an accident, assault, or vigorous sport. Jaw fractures are the second most common facial injury after nasal fractures. They are characterized by bleeding around the mouth and nose, bruising around the cheeks, severe swelling and pain around the face, and sometimes trouble breathing.

    When left unattended, a broken jaw can cause severe dental and overall health complications. Therefore, if you have had trauma and suspect you may have a broken jaw, you must seek emergency dental care. Your dentist will perform different diagnostic tests to determine the nature and extent of your fracture before recommending the right treatment.

    Although most people who have suffered a broken jaw can achieve full recovery, it may take a while. Suffering from a jaw fracture can be a traumatizing experience. Therefore, you will need our expert dental services at The Lakewood Dentist for our patients seeking emergency dental care in Lakewood, CA.

    What is a Broken Jaw?

    A broken jaw is a fracture in your jawbone. The jawbone is the only movable bone of the skull and shares joints with the temporal bone. Your jawbone holds the teeth and is responsible for chewing. A broken jaw may be a result of:

    Symptoms of a Broken Jaw

    Understanding the symptoms of a broken jaw is essential to seeking emergency dental care in case you suffer such an injury. If you have suffered trauma to the head or face, you must look out for the following symptoms:

    Diagnosis and Treatment of a Broken Jaw

    When you seek emergency dental care with symptoms of a broken jaw, the dentist will note down the cause of your facial trauma or instances that could have resulted in the injury. In addition to a physical examination of your symptoms, the following tests could be ordered to determine the extent of your injury:

    In determining the proper treatment for your broken jaw, the dentist will consider the extent and exact location of the fracture. Additionally, the number of fractures you have on the law could be significant in determining the appropriate treatment.

    Your treatment for a broken jaw aims to reduce the pain and discomfort from the injury, correct the fracture, and restore your normal jaw function. You may receive medication for a mild-to-moderate fracture to ease the pain and prevent infection. Additionally, the dentist will advise that you stay on a liquid diet for several weeks to avoid straining the jaw.

    With time, your broken jaw will recover, and its normal function will be restored. While your body recovers from a broken jaw, you can take the prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and place ice cubes on your face to ease the swelling.

    On the other hand, if the imaging and diagnostic tests indicate a severe jaw fracture, you may need surgery to correct the injury.

    Surgery for a Broken Jaw

    Broken jaw injuries vary in severity. In most cases, the cause of the fracture may be a significant determining factor in its extent and treatment. For most oral health conditions, surgical treatment is the last option to deal with the injury.

    If surgery is the only treatment available for your condition, your oral surgeon will discuss it with you. At this point, you can inform them of any allergic reactions you may have to the metals used for the procedure or medications.

    A broken jaw often causes severe pain and discomfort. To avoid further pain, surgery to treat the injury is performed under general anesthesia. After administering anesthesia, the oral surgeon will make an incision through your skin and gums to access the jaw. Depending on the extent of the fracture, a broken jaw will be attached back together using screws or plates. When the reconstruction of your jaw ends, the incision will be stitched up.

    Sometimes, a surgeon will place elastic bands around the jaw to guide it to the right position after surgery. The elastic bands will be attached using braces or tiny wires. Sometimes, a broken jaw injury can cause a severe and irreparable injury to a tooth. During the surgical procedure, the damaged teeth may be removed.

    Your surgeon will advise that you wait for your jaw to heal before undergoing other procedures, like tooth replacement through a dental implant. This ensures complete recovery of the jaw and makes it strong enough to support the restorations.

    Surgery for a broken jaw is not a minor procedure. Therefore, you may need to spend a night in the hospital following the surgery. Before you leave the hospital, an X-ray may be performed to check the new position of the jaw. Your body may take a while to recover from a broken jaw surgery.

    You could experience soreness, slight pain, and discomfort during the first few weeks after the surgery. The oral surgeon will prescribe some pain medications to ease the discomfort and antibiotics to prevent infection of the surgical site. Other care instructions that the surgeon can recommend to ensure fast healing of your broken jaw surgery are to avoid strenuous activities and rest from ordinary activities for a few days.

    Failure to follow the right instructions after a broken jaw surgery could result in the following issues:

    You can avoid the complications associated with broken jaw surgery by ensuring that you seek expert emergency dental services for your injury.

    Complications of a Broken Jaw

    A broken jaw is not something to ignore or wait to book an appointment. If you experience the symptoms of a jaw fracture, you must seek emergency care. If left unattended or if you wait too long to seek dental care, you could suffer the following complications associated with the injury:

    Frequently Asked Questions on Broken Jaw Injuries

    A broken jaw is one of the most severe injuries you can suffer on your face. The injury causes pain and discomfort and can affect breathing, eating, and speaking functions. If you experience the symptoms of a fractured jaw, you may be unsure of what to expect for diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. The following are frequently asked questions about a fractured jaw:

    When should I call a healthcare provider after treatment for a broken jaw?

    Your treatment plan for a broken jaw is based on the cause of the injury and the extent of damage done to the jaw. You can receive medication and homecare instructions or undergo a surgical procedure to restore your jaw to its normal function. If you experience any of the following symptoms during your recovery journey from a broken jaw, you should seek immediate intervention:

    What is the difference between a broken and a dislocated jaw?

    When your mandible or maxilla pulls away from the joint, you suffer from a dislocated jaw. With a dislocated jaw, speaking or chewing your food could become problematic. However, dislocating a jaw does not mean it is broken. Therefore, the approach for diagnosis and treatment will be different. Some of the symptoms of a dislocated jaw include:

    Treatment options for a dislocated jaw could include:

    Can a broken jaw be prevented?

    Most people who suffer a broken jaw are victims of accidents or traumatic events. While some accidents are inevitable, you could take the following steps to minimize the risk of suffering an injury:

    How long will recovery from a broken jaw take?

    If you undergo surgical treatment for your broken jaw, the recovery could be faster. However, it may take weeks for your broken jaw to heal with medication and home remedies. You can speed up the healing process by following these care tips:

    Find Expert Emergency Dental Services Near Me

    You could suffer from a broken jaw if excessive pressure on your face causes the jawbone to fracture or crack. A broken jaw is likely to cause severe pain and discomfort. This could make it challenging for you to chew your food or talk. A broken jaw can also block your airways, causing shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

    A broken jaw can be a result of various instances that cause trauma to your facial bones and muscles. You may have a broken jaw if you experience symptoms such as severe jaw pain, swelling, and bruising around the face, chin, and lower lip numbness. A fractured or broken jaw is an emergency that requires you to seek immediate intervention.

    When you consult your dentist with symptoms of a broken jaw, they will perform different diagnostic tests to determine the extent of your injury. Standard treatment options that could be recommended for your broken jaw include medications, surgery, and physical therapy to restore normal function. At The Lakewood Dentist, we offer safe and reliable services for all our clients dealing with dental emergencies like a broken jaw in Lakewood, CA. Call us today at  562-423-1441 to book an appointment.

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    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!