JAW DISLOCATION(Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dislocation)
(Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dislocation)
DESCRIPTIONTemporo-mandibular joints connect the lower jaw (mandible) with the skull. They are just forward of the ears. With dislocation, the mouth cannot be closed because the head of the mandible (the condyle) slides backward into a depression in the skull. The jaw is involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Doctor's or dentist's treatment. Muscles tighten and pain increases within 15 to 30 minutes after dislocation, so a dislocated jaw should be treated quickly.
Self-care after diagnosis and treatment.
Hospitalization for anesthesia and reduction if simpler measures don't remedy the problem.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSInability to close the mouth.
Pain and swelling in the jaw.
Bleeding under the skin of the jaw.
Obvious asymmetry of the face.
Numbness of the chin and lower lip (sometimes).
CAUSESInjury inflicted in a fight, auto accident, or contact sports.
Some persons dislocate mandibles with little provocation, as with yawning, yelling, biting large pieces of food, or opening the mouth very wide for any reason.
Excess alcohol consumption or use of mind-altering drugs.
Non-use of seat belts.
Injuries are most often associated with:
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEInstructions for your child:
Avoid opening your mouth widely, if possible, when you yawn, bite large pieces of food, yell or scream during excitement, call out loudly, or sing.
Use seat belts and shoulder harnesses in vehicles. Don't drink alcohol or use mind-altering drugs and drive.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
X-rays of the jaw.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSObstruction of the airway and inhalation of mucus and blood into the lungs, leading to pneumonia. This occurs most often with dislocation accompanied by fractures.
Usually curable with treatment.
Make sure an injured child with a fractured or dislocated jaw has no breathing obstruction. If there is an obstruction, seek emergency help immediately.
If your child's jaw is injured, don't panic. Stay calm. Go to the nearest dental office or emergency facility for help.
Tell your child not to try to talk with a dislocated jaw--write messages instead. Don't try to push or force your child's mouth closed. The mouth cannot close normally until the dislocation is corrected.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your doctor may prescribe:
Your child should rest in bed with the head turned to one side. The child may read or watch TV. Normal activities may be resumed in 2 to 3 days. Allow 6 weeks for muscles and tendons attached to the joint to heal.
DIET & FLUIDS
A liquid diet may be necessary for up to 4 weeks. Start with clear liquids, then go on to serving the child a full liquid diet, including blenderized foods, milk shakes, and juices. The child should not chew solid foods without the doctor's or dentist's permission.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite has returned and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of a dislocated jaw.
Pain is intolerable.