It is important to note that the jaw is connected to the temporal bone on the side of the skull and in certain circumstances, can move out of position which is called as a dislocation or broken which is called a fracture.
When it comes to a fracture, it causes two areas of breakage – direct break where the injury was sustained and indirect break where the jaw ends up broken far from the area of impact. In either case, it can trigger harsh pain and can lead to poor healing if not corrected early. There are various symptoms that can indicate that an individual has a broken jaw, either dislocated or fractured. If you want to learn more about dislocations and fractures, click here.
How to check if an individual has a broken jaw
By taking into consideration the following measures, it can help prevent further injury to the affected area as well as hasten the healing process.
- Determine if the individual just recently experienced trauma or injury to the face. Always bear in mind that facial trauma is the most prevalent cause of a broken jaw. If the individual just received a punch, involved in vehicular accident, injured during a sporting event or falls from a height, a broken jaw is inevitable.
- Instruct the individual to move the jaw slightly by opening and closing it. The jaw can be broken if the bite does not feel right once it is being closed or there is difficulty in opening the jaw broadly. Lost teeth can be considered as aggravating factors that can increase the likelihood of a broken jaw.
- You have to assess the face of the individual for any indications of bruising or swelling. Check if there are any protuberances on the sides of the jaw such as bumps. Take note that inflammation or bruising above the jawbone can indicate that the jaw is broken.
- Assess the level of pain. In case the pain heightens when the individual tries to chew or bite, it can indicate a broken jaw. Another indication is the face feels numbs particularly on the lower lip area.
Important considerations to bear in mind
It is best for the individual to seek medical care right away if a broken jaw is suspected. If timely treatment is not provided, it can lead to the development of infection in the jaw region and can cause the individual to breathe in blood or food into the lungs which can be life-threatening as well as increasing the risk for future breakage of the jaw.
Once you suspect that an individual has a broken jaw, do not attempt to set the jaw back into its position. This will only cause further damage. All you have to do is to limit movement as much as possible until medical care can be provided. It is important to wrap a bandage around the head of the individual to reduce movement.