A jaw fracture is a common facial trauma that usually causing pain, swelling, bleeding, broken or missing teeth, difficulty in opening the mouth and speaking clearly. One might experience numbness, sunken eyeball, or double vision if the fracture are in the middle of the face. The physical examination involves a general inspection of the face for obvious deformity, fractures, bruising, or swelling. X-rays are taken or computed tomography (CT) is done to support diagnosis. Depending on the nature and location of the fracture, the fracture may have to be treated with surgery.
Some fractures do not require surgery and are best managed with diet changes and pain control. Jaw wires are usually left in place for 6 to 8 weeks. Small rubber bands (elastics) are used to hold the teeth together. Following surgery, the jaws may be immobilized but often for only a few days during which patients are recommended to eat only soft foods for several weeks. After a few weeks, some of the elastics are removed to allow motion and reduce joint stiffness.