The jaw bone is located along the base of the mouth and is connected to the skull via the tempo-mandibular joint, which is placed on either sides of the face. The jaw bone plays a vital role in the ability of a person to talk and eat, as movement of the jaw bone is imperative to perform these functions.
Dislocation of the jaw is a relatively common phenomenon which is associated with motor vehicle accidents or sport injuries and can affect individuals of any age. However there are a host of other less common causes, that can cause dislocation of the jaw,
- Hypermobility of the jaw bone can increase the chances of displacement following an injury.
- Opening the mouth too wide while yelling, vomiting or yawning can also cause jaw dislocation.
- Biting something very hard can also lead to jaw dislocation, though this is very rare.
Symptoms Of Dislocated Jaw
The signs and symptoms associated with dislocated jaw include,
- Severe and excruciating pain
- Inability to perform movements of the mouth while talking or chewing.
- Swelling around the jaw line and teeth.
- Numbness around the face and bleeding from below the jaw may be observed in cases of trauma or injury to the jaw bone.
Following a jaw dislocation, the jaw bone may protrude and be association with abnormal alignment of the teeth. Jaw dislocation can be associated with complications like blockage of the airways, which need to be treated promptly without delay.
How To Fix A Dislocated Jaw?
An X ray or CT scan of the jaw is performed in order to understand the extent of damage associated with a dislocated jaw bone. Following a dislocation, first aid helps to alleviate some of the pain, swelling and other complications associated with the dislocation. Ice pack application and wrapping a bandage from under the jaws to the head (to support and keep the jaw bone in its position) are important. Hospitalization is essential in order to perform the repair procedure and alleviate the symptoms.
A thorough evaluation of the X ray and scan reports can provide direction to the subsequent course of treatment. A simple manipulation technique is performed, if the dislocation is not associated with fracture,
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and wear gloves to avoid transmission of germs during the manipulation procedure. Also wrap gauze around the thumb to avoid being bitten during the procedure.
- Make the patient sit and insert both the thumbs in the mouth and place them over the lower molar tooth. Apply pressure on the lower molars in the downwards direction, after grasping the mandible from either side. Ensure that you do this technique slowly, but apply a lot of pressure.
- You will hear the jaw pop back to its original place, which will be associated with lesser pain.
This is generally done under medical supervision. Patients or care takers should not perform it on their own.
Following a jaw dislocation, a liquid diet is important for several days till the patient fully recovers from the pain and discomfort. This is aimed at reducing discomfort while chewing. Also consuming about 20 grams of turmeric each day, along with milk, is recommended in order to avoid secondary infections and enhance natural immunity.
If the jaw dislocation is associated with fracture, this manual manipulation technique is not adequate and surgical intervention is unavoidable.