The tenth most fractured bone in the human body is the jaw bone. Also known as a mandibular fracture, a broken jaw comes in right behind a broken nose as the most common facial injury. This type of fracture is usually the result of a direct force to the jawbone.
The jawbone is actually the largest bone of the lower part of the face. Men are three times more likely than women to sustain a fracture in their jaw. The most commonly affected group is the 20-29 age range. According to www.emedicinehealth.com, some contributing factors to a jawbone fracture include automobile accidents, sports injuries, assaults, and falls.
Pain is the most common symptom of a broken jawbone. Your teeth may also feel as if they are not aligning together properly (malocclusion). You may experience difficulty in opening your jaw all the way, encounter troubles in speaking, or have swelling around that area. If a nerve is affected, your chin or lower lip may become numb. Within your mouth, you may experience some bleeding or recognize a change in the usual lineup of your teeth. Bruising might be present under the tongue, and you may even sustain a cut in the ear canal as a result of the backward motion of the broken jawbone.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to seek immediate medical care. This type of injury is best examined within a hospital setting. It may be advisable to go to the nearest emergency room. A potentially serious side effect to a broken jawbone is that one’s breathing may become difficult due to the loss of support to the tongue. If you recognize any trouble with breathing, be sure to call 911 immediately.
When examining a fractured jawbone, the doctor will perform a physical exam and order any x-rays as needed. The doctor will inspect your face for signs of swelling, bruising, or any deformity as a result of the injury. He would then begin to feel the jawbone through the skin. Movement of the jawbone will be checked, as well as the inside of your mouth. Much like you are asked by a dentist to bite down to check the alignment of your teeth, the doctor will ask you to do the same under these conditions.