When people fall as a result of spilled liquid, torn carpeting, or other dangerous conditions on others’ properties, they can suffer serious injuries – even injuries to the face. For example, many people suffer dislocated or broken jaws in slip and fall accidents.
A dislocated jaw refers to a jaw that that has moved out of place at one or both joints where it connects to the skull and becomes unhinged from the skull. A broken jaw is a break in the jaw bone. However, if you have never sustained a jaw injury before, you might not know what to look for. Here are some symptoms of broken and dislocated jaws.
Broken Jaw Symptoms
- Jaw stiffness
- Jaw pain that worsens with chewing
- Facial swelling
- Lump in the jaw or cheek or changes in the shape of the face
- Trouble opening the mouth and limited movement of the jaw
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Numbness of the lower lip
- Loose or lost teeth
When people suffer a broken jaw, they typically know they have suffered a jaw injury because they will feel pain in their jaw and their jaw will become stiff and swollen. This is especially the case when the jaw fracture is severe, causing a person the inability to move one’s jaw entirely.
Dislocated Jaw Symptoms
- Jaw pain right in front of the ear
- Teeth and bite don’t line up properly
- Unable to close the mouth
- Trouble talking
- Protruding jaw, such as an overbite
People who experience dislocated jaws might not know what happened to their jaw. They know their bite feels off and their teeth don’t line up normally. Both broken jaws and dislocated jaws cause people immense pain and cause difficulties breathing and eating. This is why broken jaw injuries are serious and require immediate medical attention. If you believe you have suffered an injury to your jaw, it is critical that you support your lower jaw until you can see a doctor in order to keep your airway open.
Diagnosing and Treating Jaw Injuries
Doctors will take x-rays and conduct a physical exam to diagnose a specific jaw injury. If a doctor concludes your injury is a dislocated jaw, treatment will likely include manipulating the jaw back into its normal position. A doctor will attempt to do this manually with the use of muscle relaxants and local anesthetics to loosen up your jaw muscles and help with the pain. If the dislocation is too severe, surgery may be required to put the jaw back into the correct position.
If a doctor diagnosis a broken jaw, treatment will likely require surgery – although a clean crack in the bone may heal on its own while the jaw remains immobilized. If there are displaced fractures or multiple breaks in the jaw bone, surgery will likely be required.
During recovery, doctors will wrap bandages around the head and chin to minimize jaw movement. However, if people sustain multiple breaks, they will often have their jaws wired shut and won’t be able to open their jaws during recovery, which could last for six weeks or longer.
When victims of slip and fall accidents suffer dislocated or broken jaw injuries, their lives are changed instantly. Not only will they be in pain, but they will incur expensive medical bills, won’t be able to talk and eat solid foods, or even work for some time. This is why victims of slip and fall accidents in South Florida should talk with an experienced slip and fall injury lawyer. For a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 today.