A jaw dislocation occurs when, as a result of becoming detached from one or both of the temporomandibular joints, the lower part of the jaw moves out of place. The probability of a mandibular injury of this sort occurring is increased if a patient suffers from hypermobility of the jaw or if they have experienced previous dislocations of the jaw. Although occasionally a dislocation can lead to recurring complications, in general, the injury heals well. Know what to do at home if you break your jaw. To expedite recovery, professional medical assistance should immediately be sought and the patient should resist, at all costs, the temptation to relocate the jaw on their own.
Patients may exhibit an array of symptoms to indicate that a dislocation of the jaw has occurred. Teeth may be misaligned, drooling may occur, dimples may appear in front of the ear, and the jaw may become locked or appear to protrude. Additionally, a patient may encounter difficulty talking or experience discomfort in the temporomandibular joints.
A dislocation of the jaw can be caused by a number of factors. Most commonly, it results from either a facial injury or from opening the mouth too wide. Less frequently, it may be precipitated by dental problems impeding jaw functionality or by an underlying instability in the temporomandibular joint itself.
In order to assess the precise nature of the injury, a physical examination will be conducted and an X-ray taken. The findings of this initial phase will dictate whether the jaw will be realigned manually or whether surgery will be necessary. Either way, once the jaw has been relocated successfully, bandages will be applied in order to provide the joint with support and stability during the recovery process.
On route to the hospital to seek medical help, it’s advisable that the patient should support their jaw with either their hand or a loose bandage. During the recuperation period, the patient can manage pain by combining the use of medicines with the regular application of a cold pack to the injured area. Furthermore, until such time as the jaw has completely healed, the patient should consume only soft foods, should refrain from opening their mouth wide, and should physically support their jaw when yawning or sneezing.
If a patient has suffered multiple dislocations of the jaw, physical therapy may be required in order to strengthen the jaw muscles and to reduce the probability of a future jaw dislocation occurring.