Treatment of Mandibular Fractures
Mandibular fracture treatment depends on the severity, the location, and the number of jaw fractures. Treatments can include:
Resting your jaw. This requires you to avoid opening your jaw except to consume – but definitely not chew – soft foods and liquids.
Wiring your mouth closed. This stabilizes your jaw joints as the bones heal. And, yes, a liquid diet will make up your meal plan.
Surgery for more severe breaks. This might involve screwing metal plates into the jawbone. Again, so your jaw remains stable, wiring your mouth closed might be required. And, again, a liquid diet might be on the menu.
Treatment and recovery can require up to four to six weeks for your fracture to heal. During this time, you'll typically receive prescriptions or advice to take:
- Anti-inflammatory medications to increase your comfort and aid in your healing.
- Antibiotics to prevent an infection of the bone.
To rebuild your jaw muscles and joints' strength, you'll likely need to undergo physical therapy.
Good oral hygiene is crucial during healing, but wires and a limited mouth opening will impair your ability to brush. Your dentist may recommend that you swish with an antibacterial mouthrinse.
If you experience trauma to the jaw, don't hesitate to seek a diagnosis and treatment for a broken mandible – even if you don't experience obvious symptoms. And though you might have to wait up to six weeks before eating solid food again, it'll be something to smile about once your jaw and bite start working properly again.