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 be limited to prevent it from dislocating again.
Common treatments for a dislocated jaw
Treatments for dislocated jaw will vary depending on the severity of the dislocation and whether it is the first occurrence. Common treatments include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen (Motrin), will reduce the pain and swelling after your jaw has been restored to its original position
- Replacing the dislocated jaw to its original position. Because of the strength of the muscles surrounding the jaw, numbing medication and muscle relaxants may be required. A physician can restore your jaw to its original location by firmly pressing it into place, but it is important that you do not attempt this on your own.
- Your jaw’s motion may be limited with bandages so that your jaw cannot open too wide after a dislocation, as it is more prone to subsequent dislocations until it heals
What you can do to improve your dislocated jaw
A health care provider must treat a dislocated jaw. But during the healing process there are a variety of things you can do to improve your prognosis. Self-treatments include:
- Avoiding any trauma to the face or jaw
- Icing the jaw
- Limiting chewing and hard food
- Limiting yawning and opening your mouth wide for several weeks after the dislocation
What are the potential complications of a dislocated jaw?
Dislocated jaws often result in complications, some of which may be serious.
You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of dislocated jaw include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty talking or eating
- Malocclusion (misalignment of your teeth)
- Recurrence of dislocated jaw
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Jaw - broken or dislocated. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000019.htm. Accessed May 16, 2011.
Dislocation. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000014.htm. Accessed May 16, 2011.
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.... Read more about dislocated jaw introduction
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.... Read more about dislocated jaw symptoms