When visiting a dentist, you expect to walk away from the procedure better than when you showed up for the appointment. Unfortunately, during extractions, complications can arise. Without proper care, an extraction can cause a fracture to the jawbone.
Colgate explains how fracturing your jawbone can make speaking, eating, and even smiling difficult.
Signs of a mandible fracture
Mandibular fractures occur when the bone becomes stressed due to excessive force or pressure. Following a dentist appointment, you may experience swelling and bruising in your jaw and face due to the extraction, but when the symptoms linger or become worse, it may be a sign of something worse. Some symptoms of a jaw fracture include:
- Difficulty chewing and speaking
- Loose teeth
- Excess bleeding
- Numbness of the neck and face
When discomfort and pain linger for too long following an extraction, you may have complications.
Treatment options for a mandible fracture
To diagnose a mandible fracture, a medical provider must physically check your jaw and face. He or she may have you undergo an x-ray or CT scan to obtain a picture of the bone A CT scan allows the physician to assess the bone by taking 3-dimensional pictures.
Treatments for jaw fracture include resting your jaw. You may avoid opening your mouth for long periods or changing to soft food or a liquid diet. In severe cases, a physician may use wires to keep your mouth closed. Likewise, in severe cases, doctors may need to use surgery. They may use metal plates to hold the jawbone.
Following a fracture, you may need up to six weeks to heal and physical therapy to strengthen your muscles.