Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Mandible Fracture Overview

Another name for Mandible Fracture is Jaw Fracture.

What is a jaw fracture?
A person with a jaw fracture has broken the mandible. Jaw fractures can disrupt the normal alignment between the upper and lower teeth. With treatment, about 90 percent of mandible fractures heal completely and the alignment of the teeth is restored. Common causes of jaw fractures include sports injuries, altercations, and motor vehicle accidents.

What are the symptoms of a jaw fracture?
Symptoms of a jaw fracture include jaw pain, jaw tenderness, facial swelling, difficulty opening the mouth, jaw swelling, facial swelling, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, facial bruising, facial numbness, dental pain, chipped teeth, and loss of teeth. When the jaw is dislocated, the teeth do not line up correctly, which is called malocclusion.

How does the doctor treat a jaw fracture?
Treatment of a jaw fracture may include cold compresses, narcotic pain medications, a liquid diet, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Surgery is often required to realign the jaw. Usually, wires are placed around the teeth and the jaw is held in place, so that it can heal.

Continue to Mandible Fracture Symptoms

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Mandible Fracture References
  1. Donat TL, Endress C, Mathog RH. Facial fracture classification according to skeletal support mechanisms. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998 Dec;124(12):1306-14. [9865751]
  2. King RE, Scianna JM, Petruzzelli GJ. Mandible fracture patterns: a suburban trauma center experience. Am J Otolaryngol. 2004 Sep-Oct;25(5):301-7. [15334392]
  3. Lazow SK. The mandible fracture: a treatment protocol. J Craniomaxillofac Trauma. 1996 Summer;2(2):24-30. [11951480]
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