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Broken Jaw (cont.)

Broken Jaw Treatment and Surgery

Many people who have jaw pain will not have a jaw fracture and will be treated with pain medications and instructions to eat a soft diet and to follow up with their doctor.

  • Those people with fractures require further evaluation. Many fractures of the jawbone are associated with gum problems or tissue damage and should be considered open fractures. They will be treated with antibiotics
  • and likely will require surgical intervention or wiring teeth together.
  • People may receive a tetanus shot.
  • Pain should be addressed and managed effectively by the doctor.
  • Many mandible fractures are stable, and the only treatment required is wiring the upper and lower teeth together. This will most commonly be performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
  • More unstable fractures often require surgery. Surgical methods using plates across the fracture site and screws to attach the plates (or thin perforated bars) to bone may allow some patients to have normal motion of the mandible and to eat shortly after surgery.

Broken Jaw Follow-up

Many jaw fractures require surgery. Because of that, patients may need to follow up with an oral surgeon. Healing time varies with the type of fracture; in general, the average time to heal a jawbone fracture takes about six weeks.

All antibiotics need to be taken as instructed.

Follow all recommendations on diet; patients often lose weight while recovering from a jaw fracture because many patients may only be able to swallow pureed or blended foods through a straw if the mandible is wired shut to facilitate healing. The doctor may suggest the patient consult with a dietician to help design a good diet until the jaw heals.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/1/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Facial Trauma, Mandibular Fractures »

The first description of mandible fractures was as early as 1650 BC, when an Egyptian papyrus described the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of mandible fractures.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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