|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
June 23, 2014
A broken jaw can also be called a mandibular fracture. Broken jaws are one of the most common facial injuries, landing only behind a broken nose in frequency. It is also the tenth most commonly fractured bone in the human body. Fractures to the bone generally occur when there is a direct force or trauma to the jaw. The jaw bone is the largest and also the main bone located in the lower portion of the face. The mandible bone (jaw) has two main areas, the chin region and the two upward branches known as the rami.
To break a jaw, it takes an extreme amount of force. There are many different common ways that this can occur. Motor vehicle accidents, assaults, fall and sports-related injuries are some of the most common methods that can easily break a jaw. Men are more than three times more likely than women to sustain a broken jaw. People in their twenties are the most common group affected.
The most common symptom that appears to show that you might have a broken jaw is pain in the jaw region. There are many other things that you need to look out for. The teeth may not feel like they fit together correctly. Many find that they are unable to open their jaw all the way, have problems speaking or see swelling in the jaw. The chin and lower lip area can become numb due to damage to the nerve that runs through the mandible. There can also be blood in the mouth due to broken teeth or cuts in the mouth.
If you start to feel any of these symptoms, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible. You might have to go to the emergency room first to be evaluated. It is important to seek medical attention immediately because if a jaw fracture is really extreme, it can cause breathing problems. This occurs because the tongue loses its support and can interfere in the breathing process. Don’t drive yourself to the hospital; get someone to drive you there.
Once you go see a doctor, they will conduct a physical exam and order a set of x-rays. The physical exam will consist of a general inspection of the face looking for obvious deformity, bruising or swelling. A doctor will then check the movement and stability of the mandible. Next your doctor will check the inside of your mouth to see how the tooth alignment might have been changed. The best way to see the jaw fracture is with a panoramic x-ray machine that looks around the entire jaw. Surgery may or may not be needed.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.