3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Broken OR Dislocated Jaw: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Injuries and Safety

Broken OR Dislocated Jaw

Alternate Names : Dislocated Jaw, Fractured Jaw

Broken OR Dislocated Jaw | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the injury?

A broken or dislocated jaw requires immediate medical attention. Some people with jaw fractures will have bleeding and difficulty breathing. Other first aid steps include the following:

  • Check for signs of circulation, such as normal breathing, coughing, or movement in response to stimulation.
  • Contact the emergency medical system immediately.
  • Start cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, if the person stops breathing. Use 15 chest compressions for every 2 mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths.
  • Do not try to relocate or move the jaw. Until proper medical care can be given, the rescuer or assistant should use his or her hands to gently support the injured person's jaw.
  • A healthcare professional can move a dislocated jaw back into place. Sometimes this requires sedating the person with a fairly strong medication.
  • Occasionally, even with anesthesia, the jaw cannot be moved back into its original position. If this is the case, surgery may be needed to fasten the joints.
  • After the jaw is moved, it will need to be held in a steady position for a significant amount of time. This is usually done by either wiring the jaw shut or by taping around the outside of the head to keep the jaw from opening widely. The tape or wires are usually left in place for 6 weeks.
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Treatment for a dislocated or broken jaw is often painful. If wiring is done, a person could vomit and choke on the vomited material. For this reason, people are nearly always given wire cutters.

    Infection of the gums and bone where the wires are placed is also possible. A lesser concern is weight loss and lack of nutrition because of the difficulty of chewing food while the jaws are wired shut. High-calorie shakes and foods that do not require chewing can be used.

    What happens after treatment for the injury?

    After the jaw has been repaired, the person should be particularly careful when yawning and sneezing. If the jaw is broken, soft foods should be eaten.

    It is important to make sure that risky situations are avoided to prevent the injury from happening again. Once the jaw has healed and the wires have been removed, some people will experience pain in their temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. A healthcare professional can prescribe pain medications and exercises to help reduce pain.

    Previous section


    Next section

    Broken OR Dislocated Jaw: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/09/01

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site