What is a dislocated jaw?The jawbone, known as the mandible, fits into a joint on each side of the head (temporomandibular joints or TMJs) and becomes dislocated when the bone slides out of these joints. A dislocated jaw may be caused by forceful yawning or by an impact or force, such as being punched in the face or being in a car accident. Other activities that can lead to a dislocated jaw include laughing, vomiting, singing, eating, and even dental treatment.
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A dislocated jaw is painful and may make it impossible to close your mouth. You may notice that your teeth do not align normally or that your lower jaw seems to be further forward than usual.
A dislocated jaw can result in bleeding or difficulty breathing and must be treated in an emergency setting. It is important to limit the movement of your jaw as much as possible until you can reach your health care provider.
Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or profuse bleeding in or around the mouth and jaw.
What are the symptoms of a dislocated jaw?
Symptoms of a dislocated jaw include pain in or around the jaw, the misalignment of teeth, and forward movement of the jaw beyond its regular position. Other symptoms include difficulty opening and closing the mouth.
Common symptoms of a dislocated jawYou may experience all or just a few dislocated jaw symptoms. Any of these dislocated jaw symptoms can be severe:
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What causes a dislocated jaw?
A dislocated jaw can be caused by forceful yawning or by some sort of trauma or impact with the face. Common causes of jaw dislocation include a punch to the face, sports injuries, and car accidents. Other activities that can lead to a dislocated jaw include laughing, vomiting, singing, eating, and even dental treatment.
How is a dislocated jaw treated?
A dislocated jaw must be put back into place. Because the jaw muscles are so strong, this may require numbing medications and muscle relaxants. Once the jaw has been restored to its normal position, motion of the jaw must initially be limited to prevent it from dislocating again.