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.
A broken jaw can make it difficult to move the jaw and eating can cause some discomfort. For this reason, it is necessary to stick to a liquid diet for around six weeks following treatment. Once you have recovered from surgery, it is important to follow a soft diet and avoid foods that are very crunchy, chewy or hard. A soft diet may include foods like soup, broth, canned fruits, well-cooked pasta and rice, and mashed vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. It is also a good idea to incorporate some protein-rich foods into your diet while you recover, such as milk, very well-cooked meats, and cream cheese.
Yes, a broken jaw is generally painful. In fact, pain and bleeding are often the first symptoms of a fracture or break. Other symptoms of a fractured or broken jaw include swelling, which extends into the face; bleeding in the mouth; difficulty breathing; discomfort when biting and chewing; stiffness of the jaw; numbness; and bruising of the jaw. A broken jaw may also lead to dental discomfort, including loose teeth and numbness in the teeth. In the case of a severe fracture, one may find it very difficult to move the jaw.
There are a number of available treatments for the repair of a broken jaw. In the case of surgery, the procedure is performed under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make an incision inside the mouth to access the site of the fracture. The broken jawbone is then carefully put back together and secured in place with the use of small plates and screws. The incision is then stitched closed with dissolvable stitches. In some cases, elastic bands are used to guide the jaw into place after surgery.
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.