A broken jaw occurs if there is a direct breakage from an injury. In some cases, there is indirect breakage where the jaw is fractured farther away from the site of impact. In either case, it can cause significant pain and discomfort leading to poor healing if not corrected. A variety of symptoms indicate that the jaw is dislocated or broken.
Assessing a possible broken jaw
- Consider the possibility of a recent injury or trauma to the face. It is important to note that facial trauma is the usual cause of a broken jaw. If the individual sustained a punch to the face, fallen, involved in a vehicular accident or injured while playing sports, it can lead to a broken jaw.
- Instruct the individual to move his/her jaw slightly by opening and closing it. The individual might have a broken jaw if the bite feels off when it is closed or could not open the jaw widely. Other complicating factors such as lost teeth increase the likelihood for a broken jaw.
- Assess the face for any evident indications of bruising or swelling. Check for any protrusions on the sides of the jaw such as bumps or lumps. If there is bruising or swelling above the jawbone, it might also indicate a broken jaw.
- Assess the level of pain. In case the pain becomes worse when attempt to chew or bite, it indicates a fractured jaw. Another indication is numbness of the face, particularly on the lower lip.
If an individual is suspected with a broken jaw, try to limit movement as much as possible until medical care can be sought. It is recommended to wrap a bandage around the head to limit movement.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on a broken jaw is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly manage one, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.