Alternative MedicinesInfectionInjuries
   Arm or Leg Fractures
   Blunt Chest Injuries
   Blunt and Penetrating Abdominal Injuries
   Cerebral Contusion
   Cold Injuries
   Decompression Sickness
   Dislocated or Fractured Jaw
   Dislocations and Subluxations
   Electric Shock
   Fractured Nose
   Heat Syndrome
   Insect Bites and Stings
   Near Drowning
   Open Trauma Wounds
   Penetrating Chest Wounds
   Perforated Eardrum
   Poisonous Snakebites
   Radiation Exposure
   Rape Trauma Syndrome
   Skull Fractures
   Spinal Injuries
   Sprains and Strains
   Traumatic Amputation
   Whiplash Injuries

Dislocated Or Fractured Jaw

Displacement of the temporomandibular joint results in a dislocated jaw. A break in one or both of the two maxillae (upper jawbones) or the mandible (lower jawbone) constitutes a fractured jaw. Treatment usually restores jaw alignment and function.


Simple dislocations or fractures are usually caused by a manual blow along the jawline as may occur in cases of child, spouse, or elder abuse; more serious compound fractures frequently result from motor vehicle crashes.


Symptoms of a dislocated jaw include:

  • Pain in the face or jaw, located in front of the ear on the affected side, worse with movement
  • Inability to close the mouth
  • Teeth may not align normally
  • Bite feels "off" or crooked

Symptoms of a fractured (broken) jaw include:

  • Jaw tenderness or pain, worse with biting or chewing
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Loose or damaged teeth
  • Bleeding from the mouth

Diagnostic tests

X-rays confirm the diagnosis; for a more accurate diagnosis, panorex views are usually required. The patient may be required to sit upright for the test unless this is contraindicated by the condition, such as a possible cervical spine fracture.


As in all traumatic injuries, treatment involves first checking for a patent airway, adequate breathing, and circulation. After that, treatment focuses on controlling hemorrhage and caring for any other injuries. The patient may need an oropharyngeal airway, nasotracheal intubation, or a tracheotomy to help maintain an adequate airway.

Treatment also includes:

  • medications to relieve pain and anxiety and to prevent infection before and after surgery, if indicated
  • in dislocated jaw, manual reduction under anesthesia
  • in fractured jaw, surgical reduction and fixation by wiring to restore mandibular and maxillary alignmemt (wiring usually is removed after 6 to 8 weeks)
  • in maxillary fracture, reconstruction and repair of soft-tissue injuries as necessary
  • reimplantation of any lost teeth within 6 hours, if possible, while they're still viable (teeth and bone fragments aren't removed during surgery unless they have to be).

Safe practices in work, sports, and recreation -- wearing a proper helmet when playing football -- may prevent some accidental injuries to the face or jaw.

© All rights reserved.

Bookmark This Page: