Pain is the clearest symptom of a broken jaw. The pain will be a pulsating throb with occasional sharp pangs. A broken jaw is also likely if your jaw sticks out farther than normal or is indented. There will be swelling on the side of the face where the jaw is broken. It is also a possible in serious cases to have the tongue fall back into the mouth and cause labored breathing.
Diagnosis & Treatment
To diagnose a broken jaw, a doctor will conduct a physical examination followed by a CT scan. The CT scan will identify exactly which bones in the jaw were broken. The major bones in the jaw are the maxilla and the mandible. Each bone has different sections. The CT scan will show what section of the bone was damaged. The treatment for a broken jaw varies. The severity of the damage will determine whether surgery is called for. After jaw surgery, the jaw is wired shut.
How Long Will It Take To Heal?
The average healing time for a broken jaw is six weeks. If the fractured segments of the jaw are properly aligned and undisturbed during healing, the jaw should heal and be as strong as in was before the fracture occurred. Exceptions to this would be if the patient has an extremely thin jaw or does not have adequate blood supply. On some occasions, plates will be used to help with alignment of the fractured segments and also provide short-term stability during the healing. After that six weeks, additional dental work might be needed if teeth were damaged at the same time as the jaw.