Facial trauma is the main cause of a broken or dislocated jaw. Facial trauma can be the result of a vehicle accident, a fall at home or an assault. Most of the time, a broken jaw comes with broken and knocked out teeth. When a person has a broken jaw, they will show symptoms such as swollen gums, stiffness of the jaw, loosened teeth and related dental discomfort. It is important to know the First Aid procedures to follow so that you can help a person with a broken jaw as soon as it happens.
Immobilising the jaw
The first step in the process of offering first aid should be immobilising the jaw. The longer the person is left with the ability to move their jaw, the more severe the damage will be. Get a piece of cloth that can act as a bandage and tie it around the jaw and over the top of the person's head. This will keep the jaw in place and stop it from making movements which may worsen the problem. It is also advisable to tell the person to stop attempting to speak until they receive medical help.
Dealing with knocked out teeth
Facial trauma is often accompanied by teeth getting knocked out. If you notice that the person with the broken jaw has knocked out a few of their teeth, start by getting the teeth and putting them in a glass of warm milk. The milk will preserve the root and prevent it from dying before the dentist gets a chance to put the tooth back into the socket. In case of broken teeth, the patient will first have to get treatment for the jaw, and then get a root canal or tooth extraction, depending on the damage.
Getting dental care after a wired jaw
The doctor may decide to wire the jaw in order to promote fast healing after a broken jaw. A wired jaw makes eating and drinking quite a challenge. However, you have to clean your teeth regularly when you have a wired jaw because you do not want to develop cavities. Dentists recommend using a small toothbrush and very gentle movements when cleaning teeth after a broken jaw.
Another important thing to have in mind is getting a low sugar diet for the person, especially if they have to drink from a straw. A low sugar diet will preserve the teeth and slow down decay. Regular mouth rinses will also keep the teeth healthy as the patient recovers.
For more information, contact local emergency dentists.