Broken Jaw (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When to Seek Medical Care
If after some trauma to the jaw or face, a person's teeth don't fit together correctly, if they have bleeding within the mouth, significant pain, problems speaking, or swelling, they should seek medical care.
Broken jaw is best evaluated at a hospital. Therefore, most doctors will advise the person to go to an emergency department, preferably at a large hospital that would be more likely to have specialists (oral surgeons) on call to help evaluate and treat the individual if needed. A potential but serious consequence of jaw fractures is a problem breathing due to loss of support to the tongue. Therefore, any signs of breathing problems need to be addressed immediately by calling 911.
Broken Jaw Exams and Tests
A doctor will conduct a physical exam and order X-rays if indicated. No blood tests are needed unless there are underlying health problems suspected that may have played a role in the trauma (for example, falls due to medical problems) or if you need to go to the operating room to have the fracture fixed.
Self-Care at Home for a Broken Jaw
If there is any question that an individual may have a broken jaw, they need to follow up with a doctor or a dentist specializing in oral surgery.
Ice should be applied to the jaw to help control the swelling on the way to be seen by the doctor. Sometimes patients will need a paper cup to catch the drool or to spit blood into on the trip to the doctor or emergency department. If other injuries are present, if bleeding is brisk or if swelling or other problems may compromise breathing, call 911 for emergent transport.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/1/2016
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