Broken Jaw (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Broken Jaw Risk Factors and Prevention
Because the most common causes of jaw fractures are the result of motor vehicle accidents and assaults, the best prevention is to drive carefully and choose your friends wisely. A more realistic step that can be taken is wearing protective devices in many types of sporting activities. In addition, those patients who have medical conditions that may lead to falls need to treat those conditions and follow individual recommendations to prevent falls.
Broken Jaw Prognosis (Outlook)
Depending on the nature and location of the fracture, the fracture may have to be fixed with surgery. Some fractures do not require surgery and are managed best with diet changes and pain control. Some people may need to be admitted to the hospital based on their injury.
Broken Jaw Complications
Although many patients with a jawbone fracture often have temporary problems of eating (chewing) and talking, these complications usually resolve over time (days to weeks) with no further complications with appropriate treatment. However, some patients may suffer more immediate complications of airway blocking, bleeding, and aspiration of food, blood, or fluid into the lungs that can be life-threatening. Some people may develop infections of the jaw or face, malocclusion (misaligned) teeth, or both, especially if the fracture is unstable and treatment is delayed or not appropriate. Poor healing of some fractures may lead to TMJ dislocation.
Media file 1: Broken jaw. The dark angular line near the bottom left of the skull (viewer's right) is the fracture. Photo courtesy of Lisa Chan, MD; Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona.
Broken Jaw Picture
Media type: X-RAY
Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/1/2016
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