A broken jaw is a very common facial injury. Also known as a mandible fracture, a broken jaw is actually the 10th most common broken bone in the human body. Of bones in the body that are broken, only the nose is broken more frequently than the jaw. A fracture of the mandible is generally the result of a direct, blunt force trauma to the face.
It is not uncommon for a broken jaw to be confused with a dislocated jaw. A dislocated jaw means that the temporomandibular joint (where the jaw connects to the skull) is moved out of place. The symptoms of a dislocated jaw and a fractured jaw are very similar, but treatment is different.
Symptoms of a fractured jaw include:
Pain of the jaw or surrounding area
Your teeth may feel as though they do not fit together properly
The lower lip or jaw may feel numb due to nerve damage
Bruising or bleeding may occur inside or outside of the mouth
How to Fix a Broken Jaw
If you feel as though you might have broken your jaw, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible since breathing problems have been reported due to a broken jaw. Your medical professional will inspect the jaw for movement and stability. They then will proceed to perform a number of x-rays on the area to check for a fracture.
If the x-rays show a break in the jaw they will proceed with treatment. Stable fractures will be treated with pain medication to help manage associated pain and then the top and bottom jaw will be wired together to allow for proper healing. If the fracture is unstable the injury will likely require surgery to install plates, which will allow for proper functioning upon healing.
Certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Dr. John Shillingburg is proud to be a native Texan. After graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Science and from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio with a doctorate degree in dental science, Dr. Shillingburg completed a general dentistry residency at Fort Carson in Colorado. Read more.
is located in a beautiful new building right off of Long Prairie Road in Flower Mound, TX. With close parking and easy accessibility. Contact John C. Shillingburg, DDS, at our Flower Mound, TX 75028-1795 location. We are here for you. (972) 539-1491