Fractured and Broken Jaws
Broken Jaw Repair in La Mesa - Fractured Mandible Treatment Near San Diego
Dr. Randall Stettler, of the Grossmont Oral Surgery Center, is your best option when looking at repairing your fractured or broken jaw. He has over 20 years of oral surgery experience and prides himself as being one of the top rated oral surgeons.
What is a Broken or Fractured Jaw?
One of the most common facial injuries is a broken jaw, or mandible fracture. This type of injury is to one, or both, of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect your lower jawbone to the skull. These breaks, or fractures, are often the result of trauma to the jawbone (mandible). The most common cause of a broken/fractured jaw is an injury to the face. Here are other ways this type of injury can occur:
• Motor vehicle accident
• Industrial accidents
• Accidental trips or falls
• Sports or recreational injury
• After a dental or medical procedure
Patients suffering from a broken/fractured jaw may have problems breathing and eating. The most immediate symptoms are swelling, pain, and bleeding from your jaw/face. The swelling of the face can make the jaw stiff and painful. Breathing problems can occur from blood inside your mouth blocking your airways. Here are other symptoms that you may experience:
• Painful or tender to chew and speak
• Limited, or no ability, to move your jaw
• Bruising/numbness on your gums and face
• Damaged or loosened teeth
• Lumpy, or abnormal appearance, to your cheek or jaw
• Problems closing your mouth
• Jaw moving on one side when trying to open
In order to minimize complications and help the healing process, immediate medical attention is critical. X-rays will be taken to see the severity of the fracture/break and help our La Mesa oral surgeon determine the best treatment plan. While waiting for the results, you will need to stabilize your jaw to help keep your airways open.
A minor fracture may heal on its own with the patient only taking pain medication and following a soft food or liquid diet. Oral surgery is needed for moderate to severe fractures or breaks. The jaw will be wired shut once the oral surgery is completed to keep it stabilized during the healing process.
Wiring the jaw shut keeps your bite in place and the jaw closed to help with the healing process. The jaw is wired by wiring the teeth of the opposite jaw to the teeth of the injured jaw. Small rubber bands are used to hold the teeth together during recovery. On average the jaw will be wired shut for 6-8 weeks. After a few weeks of recovery some of the elastic may be removed to help reduce joint stiffness and allow a small range of motion.
During the time your jaw is wired shut, patients will only be able to consume liquids, and may be able to eat very soft foods. Patients will also need to have blunt scissors readily available to cut the wires in case they begin to choke or vomit. If you need to cut the wires, our La Mesa office needs to be called immediately so we can replace them right away.
If you are suffering from a fractured/broken jaw, call our La Mesa office
immediately to set up an appointment to begin your treatment plan.