Jaw fractures are serious and can cause a number of oral health issues down the line. The team at Bay Area OSM offers the latest in dental technology equipment to diagnose and treat jaw fractures. If you suspect a jaw fracture, don’t wait. Book a consultation online or over the phone immediately.
How can I sustain a jaw fracture?
Jaw fractures come from a variety of causes. Though all jaw fractures are serious medical issues, they range from hairline fractures to compound facial and bone trauma. Jaw fractures often come from:
- Automobile accidents
- Sports-related injuries
- Workplace accidents
Anything that impacts your face can cause a jaw injury. If you are hit in the jaw, schedule an examination with team at Bay Area OSM to make sure it isn’t broken.
What are my options if I break my jaw?
It depends on the severity of the fracture. For simple or hairline fractures, your upper and lower teeth will be wired together to prevent movement. If the fracture is more complex, surgery will be an option. Surgical procedures often involve placing a plate in the jaw and screwing it in place.
What is recovery like after a jaw fracture?
Recovery time ranges due to the severity of your fracture and your type of jaw surgery. The bruising and swelling will start to decrease after a week or two, and your appearance will return to normal. The jaw bone will take longer to heal -on average it takes between six and eight weeks. Your Bay Area OSM provider will ask you to return to the practice several times during your healing to check on your progress.
Make sure to follow your surgeon’s directions directly after surgery. You may be prescribed antibiotics and pain medication to keep you comfortable in the days following. You might be asked to ice the area to control swelling.
Keep in mind that many times after surgery, your jaw will be completely immobilized. You may not be able to chew, so expect a liquid and pureed food diet.
Jaw fractures are serious injuries and have significant long-term consequences if they are not treated by an expert surgeon. If you think you might have suffered a jaw fracture, call one of our Bay Area OSM offices today or schedule an appointment online.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHICH FACIAL FRACTURE IS MOST COMMON?
The nasal bones are most likely to break when you receive a blow to your face. The two bones that make up the nasal bone are not only very thin, but they sit prominently on your face. Depending on the angle of impact and force of the blow to your face, other bones may break as well. Along with the nasal bones, the facial skeleton is made up of the forehead, (frontal bone), cheekbones (referred to as the zygomas), eye sockets (also called the orbital bones), and the upper and lower jawbones (the maxillary and mandible bones respectively).
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR SENSATION TO RETURN AFTER A FACIAL INJURY?
You may have to wait until many weeks or even months for the full sensation to return to your face. In some cases, sensation will only return partially or it may not return at all. The nerves responsible for the senses of touch, heat, and pain pass through small channels in the bone into the skin tissue of the face. When the bone is damaged, swelling can apply pressure on the nerves, preventing them to pass messages to the brain. Only once the bone is fully healed will the sensation return.
CAN FACIAL FRACTURES HEAL ON THEIR OWN?
It is very dangerous to leave a facial injury to heal on its own, regardless of the severity of pain that it may be causing. Leaving a facial injury without the attention of a professional could lead to irreversible damage or can even be life-threatening. Nerves responsible for senses such as sight and smell pass through facial bones and if the bones are allowed to heal on their own they could damage the nerves and the senses could be lost. Breathing difficulties could develop if you were to leave a broken jaw unattended. It could also cause problems with chewing and swallowing. Injuries that cause facial fractures may also affect the central nervous system or brain, so it's vitally important to get medical attention.