After falling or sustaining a blow to the head, you may have a fractured jaw. This injury affects your ability to speak, eat, and even breathe. That’s why oral surgeons encourage people to schedule an appointment as soon as possible if they experience facial swelling or jaw pain following an impact injury. If you have symptoms of a fractured or dislocated jaw, turn to Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska in Anchorage. Their skilled team will diagnose the underlying cause of the pain and help you manage the symptoms while it heals.
How Oral Surgeons Identify & Treat Fractured Jaws
Diagnosing the Condition
There are many ways to end up with a fractured jaw. Possible causes include sports injuries and blunt trauma sustained in an accident like a car crash or slip and fall. If you think your jaw might be broken, then let an oral surgeon assess the situation to establish a diagnosis.
Signs of a fractured jaw include bruising, swelling, numbness, tenderness, or stiffness in the jaw area. Other symptoms include pain when chewing or biting and loose or damaged teeth following the incident. You will most likely need X-rays, so the oral surgeon can confirm the diagnosis and assess the extent of the damage. This information helps them devise an effective treatment plan.
Treating the Fracture
If the break is severe, jaw surgery may be necessary to ensure the bones remain aligned while they heal. After the procedure, your jaw may be wired shut to keep it in place. Immobilizing the area with a bandage allows minor fractures to heal on their own. While the injury is healing, your health care provider might prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication to manage possible symptoms. Since the joint will be immobilized, you will have to subsist on a liquid diet during the recovery period.
If you think you have a fractured jaw after sustaining a head injury, contact Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska in Anchorage to confirm the diagnosis. Visit the practice online to learn more about their surgical treatment options, so you know what to expect. To schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon, call (907) 561-1430.