A broken jaw is one dental emergency you don’t want to sleep on until it goes away. Aside from the blinding pain it causes, it also poses many different problems to the patient such as swelling, difficulty eating, facial numbness, sunken eyeball, speech impediment, and even double vision. Whether, you broke your jaw due to a car accident or a sports injury, you should always take immediate action so it doesn’t get any worse. Here are some tips from Dr. Gerald Regni, DMD, a trusted emergency dentist in Philadelphia.
Apply First Aid
The first thing you should do if you suspect that you or a loved one may have a broken jaw is to apply first aid. Look out for symptoms like facial bruising, swelling, bleeding, stiffness of the jaw and difficulty opening or closing the mouth. If you notice these, hold the jaw in place with the hands to alleviate pain caused by movement or put a bandage under the jaw and tie it over the head. An ice pack can also help with the swelling. After that, find an emergency dentist in Philadelphia immediately for proper treatment.
Get Properly Diagnosed
The only way to know for sure if you really have a broken jaw regardless of what caused the injury is to get properly diagnosed by an emergency dentist or a doctor at an emergency room. A dentist will perform a thorough physical examination on the patient including an X-ray that will point out whether the fractures are on the mandible or a tooth socket. He or she will also try to find any dental damage the injury could have caused. After the examination the dentist will recommend a treatment plan to help you get better.
Treat the Injury
There is no one single treatment plan for all broken bone injuries. What your dentist will recommend for you depends on the severity of the injury itself. Minor cases often just require resting the jaw and going on a soft-food diet after the bleeding or swelling has stopped. More severe cases may call for the jaw to be wired and some surgery for the fractures. Sometimes, if the teeth are affected, dental work to repair the damage would be required. In any case, you should leave it to the dentist and don’t attempt to fix up your jaw on your own.
Sources Fractures of the Jaw and Face, MSD Manual Jaw - broken or dislocated, MedlinePlus