Symptoms of Mandibular Trauma: Fractures and Dislocation

 

recovery-oral-surgery-austin-300x214With traumatic accidents, injury to the mandible (or jaw) is very common. In fact, jaw injuries are the third most frequent facial injury following nose and cheekbone fractures. Two different types of jaw injury – jaw fractures and jaw dislocation – often occur as a result of accidents like falls, car accidents, contact sport injuries, or even interpersonal violence. Here is a list of the signs of both types of mandibular injury; if you recognize any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Jaw Fractures

When the jaw is fractured, it is very common that two breaks occur along the jaw bone. Most of the time, a direct fracture occurs at the place of contact, and an indirect break caused by the force of the first happens near the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Some signs of jaw fractures include:

  • Bruising, swelling, and pain along the jaw, gums, and below the ear
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • A “stiff” feeling to the jaw
  • Feeling like teeth do not fit together
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Little to no jaw mobility
  • Numbness in lower lip and chin
  • Asymmetrical or lumpy appearance to jaw and face

Jaw Dislocation

Mandibular dislocation is when the jaw joint becomes unhinged, and it must be put back in place. Some signs include:

  • Pain along the jaw and below the ear that becomes worse when you move
  • Inability to close the mouth
  • Bite that does not match up
  • The appearance of an overbite, underbite, or crooked bite
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Drooling

Austin Oral Surgeons

If you have any of these symptoms following a facial injury, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible, and jaw fractures, especially, should be treated with emergency care. Though some mandibular injuries may heal without the need for surgery, it may be necessary for more severe cases. The oral surgeons at Austin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery are extensively trained in every aspect of facial trauma reconstruction, and will ensure you receive the highest level of treatment for your jaw injury. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call today!