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Jaw Fracture (Mandible)
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Home :: Jaw Fracture

Jaw Fracture (Mandible)

A complete or incomplete break in the lower jaw (the mandible). The temporo-mandibular joints (TMJ) are located just in front of the ears. These joints connect the lower jaw with the skull and are used to open and close the mouth. A fracture usually occurs at the condyle, or head of the mandible.


  • Lower jawbone (mandible).
  • Temporo-mandibular joint.
  • Soft tissue surrounding the fracture site,including nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.


Direct blow (usually) or indirect stress to the bone. Indirect stress may be caused by violent muscle contraction.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Severe pain at the fracture site.
  • Swelling of soft tissue surrounding the fracture.
  • Blood at the base of the teeth near the fracture site.
  • Visible deformity if the fracture is complete and bone fragments separate enough to distort normal facial contours.
  • Tenderness to the touch.
  • Numbness around the fracture site (sometimes).


Follow your doctor's instructions. Instructions are supplemental.

  • Immobilization will be necessary. Mandible fracture usually require wiring the jaw together.
  • Use an ice pack 3 or 4 times a day .Wrap ice chips or cubes in a plastic bag, and wrap the bag in a moist towel. Place it over the injured area for 20 minutes at a time.
  • After 72 hours, apply heat instead of ice if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers or a heating pad.
  • Learn how to "quick-release" your wired teeth for any emergency such as severe coughing or vomiting.


Your doctor may prescribe:

  • General anesthesia, local anesthesia, or muscle relaxants to make bone manipulation and fixation of bone fragments possible.
  • Narcotic or synthetic narcotic pain relievers in liquid form for severe pain.
  • Stool softeners in liquid form to prevent constipation due to a liquid diet.
  • Liquid acetaminophen (available without prescription) for mild pain after initial treatment.

Home Diet

  • Drink only water before manipulation or surgery to treat the fracture.Any food in your stomach makes vomiting while under anesthesia more hazardous.
  • During recovery, follow a high-protein liquid diet such as malted milk and eggnog. Add soft foods as you are able. Most people can handle rich soups, ground meat, whipped potatoes and gravy.
Prevention Tips
  • Use appropriate protective equipment,such as a face masks or mouthpiece,When participating in contact sports.
  • Do not push on your jaw or allow anything else to push on it. Sleep on your back.
  • You will be able to take nothing but liquids while your jaw is wired. Drink high-protein nutritional supplements until the jaw has healed.
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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.