Sometimes, fractures in the body aren’t easy to spot. You might not even notice if you have broken something, like your jaw. So, how do you know if your jaw is cracked? Luckily, there are many indicators to find out.

What Causes a Cracked Jaw?

Your jaw has two main parts: the upper jaw (maxilla) and the lower jaw (mandible). They come together at the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) near your ears. The lower jaw does most of the work for your mouth, like opening, closing, and chewing.

When one of these bones breaks, it’s called a cracked jaw. Common reasons for a broken jaw include:

  • Falling, especially if you can’t use your hands to stop yourself
  • Car, motorcycle, or bicycle accidents
  • Injuries from sports
  • Accidents at work, especially in industrial settings
  • Being hit or punched in the jaw

How to Tell If Your Jaw is Cracked?

If you have a broken jaw, you will feel immediate pain, swelling, and bleeding. Your face can swell up, making it hard to move your jaw and causing pain. Bleeding from your mouth can make it tough for some people to breathe because it might block their airways.

Chewing or talking can become the most painful task. You might also have numbness and bruising in your face and gums. A broken jaw can change how your face looks, making it lumpy. You might even lose or loosen some teeth because of the injury.

Broken Jaw Long-Term Effects

Usually, the jaw heals well after a break with few lasting problems. But you might have ongoing pain in your jaw joint afterward. This is called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ disorder. Therefore, it’s not a wise choice to leave it untreated.

Fractured Jaw Treatment Options & Recovery

Treating a broken jaw might need surgery, depending on its severity. Clean breaks can heal without surgery while your jaw is kept still. But if the break is in several places or the bone is pushed out of position, you can require surgery to fix it.

When you break or dislocate your jaw, it needs to be wrapped or wired shut while it heals. For minor fractures or dislocations, your doctor might use a bandage around your head and under your chin to keep your jaw from opening too wide. They might also give you anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen to help with pain and swelling.

Severe breaks might need wiring to help them heal. Wires and bands keep your jaw closed and your bite aligned. During your recovery, keep scissors or wire cutters handy in case you need to open the wires, especially if you feel sick or have trouble breathing. Let your doctor know if you have to cut the wires so they can replace them.

Healing from a jaw injury takes time. You might not be able to open your jaw much or at all for about six weeks. Your doctor will give you pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection. You will also need to stick to a liquid diet while you can’t chew solid food.

Wrapping Up

Jaw pain is normal and often goes unnoticed. Therefore, how do you know if your jaw is cracked is a common query. Evident symptoms might show up only in severe cases. That’s why an examination from a seasoned oral surgeon is necessary.

Visit Dr. Abdullahi Hassan at Vintage Oral Surgery. Our dual-degree surgeon specializes in jaw surgery and is an active member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Call us at (281) 800-8852 to secure an appointment.

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