You will need to eat a soft diet for around six weeks after jaw surgery.
If you have a broken or fractured jaw, you will know that it can be very painful. A broken jaw can occur when one or more of the joints that connect the skull and the lower jawbone are injured. Some of the most common causes of this type of injury include trauma caused by car accidents or assault; sports injuries; and falls. Unfortunately, a broken jaw can make it difficult to eat — read on to find out about the type of diet that is best during your recovery period, and how you can manage any discomfort that you feel…
What does a broken jaw feel like?
A broken jaw generally feels quite painful. Other common symptoms include swelling of the jaw and face; bleeding; discomfort when biting and chewing; stiffness of the jaw; bruising of the jaw and face; and dental-related issues, such as loose teeth and sore gums. In some cases, it is possible to experience breathing difficulties as a result of a jaw injury.
What can you eat with a broken jaw?
Because you are likely to experience discomfort when eating, as well as pain and stiffness in the jaw, it is advisable that you eat a soft diet while you recover from a broken jaw. It is best to avoid crunchy and chewy foods completely during this time — these types of foods can place excess strain on your jaw and cause further pain. Rather choose foods that don’t require much chewing — some good examples include soup; soft fruits; pasta; yoghurt and oatmeal.
If you have to have your jaw wired, you won’t be able to open and close your mouth for much of your recovery period. For this reason, you will need to get your daily nutrients through a straw. In this case, pureed fruits and vegetables, as well as smoothies and soups are all good options.
While your broken jaw heals, be sure to avoid hot foods and drinks as you may experience heightened sensitivity during this time. Eat your food at a lukewarm temperature so as to avoid irritation in the mouth.
What are the treatment options?
Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which broken and fractured jaws can be effectively managed and repaired. In fact, surgery for this type of injury usually leads to complete recovery.
If you are referred for surgery to repair a broken jaw, your surgeon will administer a general anaesthetic. They will then make an incision inside your mouth in order to access the site of the fracture or break. The broken jawbone is then put back together and held in place with the help of small plates and screws. When your surgeon has completed the jaw reconstruction, they will close the incision with dissolvable stitches.
In some cases, your surgeon may place elastic bands in order to guide the jaw into the correct position after surgery. These elastics are attached with the use of temporary metals or braces.
After surgery, you can expect some discomfort and swelling at and around the site of surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe the appropriate medications to ease your pain. They will also explain how to keep your surgical wounds clean and free from infection.
How can OMFS help?
At OMFS, we offer a number of procedures for facial trauma, including treatments for broken and fractured jaws. If you have been referred for jaw surgery, we encourage you to get in touch with us to discuss your treatment options in detail. Our team will also let you know what to expect from the recovery process, and how to best manage any post-surgical pain that you experience.
If you would like to find out more about surgery for a broken jaw and what it involves, please have a look here.
To arrange an appointment, please get in touch here or give us a call on (03) 9347 3788. Our team is highly experienced and committed to providing you with top-quality care.