Dislocated Or Fractured Jaw
Displacement of the temporomandibular joint results in a dislocated jaw. A break in one or both of the two maxillae (upper jawbones) or the mandible (lower jawbone) constitutes a fractured jaw. Treatment usually restores jaw alignment and function.
Simple dislocations or fractures are usually caused by a manual blow along the jawline as may occur in cases of child, spouse, or elder abuse; more serious compound fractures frequently result from motor vehicle crashes.
Symptoms of a dislocated jaw include:
Symptoms of a fractured (broken) jaw include:
X-rays confirm the diagnosis; for a more accurate diagnosis, panorex views are usually required. The patient may be required to sit upright for the test unless this is contraindicated by the condition, such as a possible cervical spine fracture.
As in all traumatic injuries, treatment involves first checking for a patent airway, adequate breathing, and circulation. After that, treatment focuses on controlling hemorrhage and caring for any other injuries. The patient may need an oropharyngeal airway, nasotracheal intubation, or a tracheotomy to help maintain an adequate airway.
Treatment also includes:
Safe practices in work, sports, and recreation -- wearing a proper helmet when playing football -- may prevent some accidental injuries to the face or jaw.
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