Jaw is the only movable part of the face which is connected to the skull with the help of temporomandibular joint which is a hinge joint. This joint helps a person in chewing, speaking and even breathing. Hence, its proper working is very necessary for moving the jaw. But what if the jaw does not move? This is basically seen when there is dislocation of jaw. It is a condition in which the jaw moves forward or gets dislocated from its original place. This condition may be very painful and the person is unable to close his mouth. If not taken care of in time, it can be very complicated.
Dislocated Jaw Causes and Symptoms
Dislocated jaw usually occur in the people who had this dislocation earlier or in those who have joint hypermobility. There may be many causes of dislocation of jaws but the most common causes is injury and trauma. It may happen due to accidents or sports injury. It may also be caused due to the wide opening of mouth which can happen at the time of yawning, yelling or vomiting. Biting some kind of hard food can also dislocate the jaw. These causes may result in dislocated jaw which is extremely painful and needs immediate treatment.
Jaw pain, tenderness, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, stiff and swollen jaw, numbness in face, inability to close mouth are some of the symptoms of dislocated jaw. Even if the person is able to close his mouth, he can feel that the teeth are not line up in a proper manner. If these symptoms are not treated it may take you to complicated situation like blockage of the airways, bleeding while eating, pain in teeth, severe jaw pain etc.
Fixing a Dislocated Jaw
Well, before fixing the dislocated jaw, the doctor will like to confirm it with the help of few tests. He may ask you to undergo X-ray or CT scan of the facial bone. Once the dislocation is confirmed, the doctor may try to fix the dislocation. Following are the steps which will be followed in order to bring back the dislocated joint back to its place.
Dislocated jaw should not be treated or fixed by your own. It should only be fixed by a medical professional. You can use some first aid to reduce the pain, swelling and discomfort till the treatment is done by the doctor. Use ice pack to reduce the pain and swelling. Wrap a bandage from the head to under jaws, so as to support the jaw. Immediately contact the doctor to avoid complications.
How to Treat a Dislocated Jaw
X-ray reports will tell if you have any fractures in the jawbone. The doctor may first try to relocate the jaw and will look for the treatment for fractures if any. He may give you local anesthesia or numbing medication. Following are the steps which should be followed in order to relocate the jaw.
- Wear gloves to avoid the transmission of diseases and warp gauze on thumbs to avoid bitting while relocating the jaw.
- Now make the person sit and insert both your thumbs inside his mouth placing then on lower molars.
- Press the lower back molar with your thumb grasping both the side of mandibles in a downward motion. Do this process slowing but with great pressure.
- If the jaw popped back to its original place then there will be less pain, if it pains then may be the bone has fractures. If the jaw is not popped to its original position then monitor the x-ray and then try it again.
This is the method to fix the dislocated jaw. But if the condition becomes complicated and the jaw cannot be fixed manually then your doctor may advice you to undergo surgery. Once the jaw is relocated, it will be bandages so as to avoid wide opening of mouth. You need to take care while yawing and sneezing, as it may be very dangerous. Doctor will recommend you to be on liquid diet for some days. Jaw exercise will help in fast recovery from the pain and other discomfort caused by dislocated jaw.