Broken and fractured jaws may occur due to a traumatic event or accident
Depending on the location of the break or fracture, and the severity of the injury, your surgeon may offer a number of different treatment options. Duration of treatment can differ greatly depending on the individual condition and in cases where there is only a minor fracture; effective management of the injury is still essential.
Our team is experienced in managing and performing surgery on the jaw. The jawbone is the second most common broken bone in the face, after the nose. For this reason, surgery and management of this injury often leads to complete and effective recovery.
Broken jaw causes
Although jawbone fractures can occur due to disease, bone loss through infection and other ailments, it is most commonly caused by trauma. Some of the most common causes include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Face first falls
The broken jaw surgery procedure
Broken jaw surgery is performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital setting. An incision will be made inside the mouth, through the gum in order to access the site of the fracture or break. The broken jawbone will then be put together and held in place using small plates and screws. Once reconstruction is completed, the incision will be stitched up using dissolvable stitches.
Sometimes, elastic bands may need to be used to guide the jaw into position following surgery. These are attached using small temporary metal wires or braces. Your procedure will be discussed with you in full during your consultation and any concerns you have can be addressed with your surgeon.
Broken jaw surgery recovery
Following your surgery, you may need to remain in hospital for a short period of time to be monitored following the use of general anaesthetic. Your surgeon, following surgery in order to help manage pain and discomfort will prescribe painkillers and any necessary antibiotics.
Discomfort and swelling will be worse during the first few days after surgery and may take a few weeks to completely dissipate. Your jaw has a number of nerves surrounding it that may become bruised during the surgery. This may cause some tingling and numbness during recovery, but should subside once fully healed. You will need to stick to a relatively soft diet for the first six weeks following surgery to ensure that your jaw heals properly.
Maintaining healthy oral hygiene is also very important during recovery in order to prevent infection. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily and rinse your mouth with warm salt water around the site of the incision in order to keep it clean. Once the incision has healed completely, you may begin to eat normally again.
Jawbone fractures and breaks can occur as a result of disease, bone loss through infection and a range of other ailments. They are, however, most commonly caused by trauma. Some of the most common causes of broken jaws include assaults, sports injuries, face first falls, and motor vehicle accidents. The type of treatment that we recommend for a fractured jaw will depend on the severity of the injury, as well as the location of the break or fracture. The duration of treatment will also depend on the particular case.
You can expect to experience some discomfort and swelling following jaw surgery, which may take a few weeks to resolve. You may also notice some bruising, as well as tingling and numbness. We will prescribe medication to help manage your pain and discomfort, and to prevent infection. You will need to eat a soft diet for up to six weeks following jaw surgery. This will help to ensure that your jaw heals properly over time. We will explain how to best take care of your surgical site, and how to maintain optimal oral health while you recover from the procedure.
Yes, you can brush your teeth after jaw surgery. In fact, it is very important that you maintain good oral hygiene after the procedure in order to prevent infection. We recommend that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth twice a day. In order to keep the site of the surgical incision clean, be sure to rinse your mouth with warm salt water after brushing your teeth. This will help to prevent infection and assist in the recovery process as you heal from the procedure.