A mandibular fracture or better known as a broken jaw is a common facial injury that's only second to a broken nose. A cracked jaw can be quite problematic because of the pain and discomfort associated with it. The biggest symptom of a cracked jaw is the pain associated with it. What's more, you will feel like you have a malocclusion and your teeth do not fit together at all. The pain might be quite severe so much so that you will not be able to open the jaw all the way through. Sometimes, you will have some speech problems or some noticeable swelling on the jaw. If the damage is quite extensive, you might feel some numbness caused by damage to the nerve that runs through the mandible.
The jawbone is usually quite strong. It's strong enough to withstand pressure. However, some factors such as bone loss can weaken it quite significantly. Infections such as gingivitis and periodontitis are some of the most common infections that plague the gums and end up causing the jawbone a lot of damage. Because of the bacteria that thrives in such an environment, they cause the bone to die off slowly, thus weakening it slowly every day until the slightest provocation causes it to crack. Another frequent cause is temporomandibular disorder. When you have TMJ, then you are more prone to a crack in your jaw. Because of the inflammation, you can experience more intense cracks.
Another common cause of broken jaws is falls. In most cases, when people fall down, they brace for impact, thereby protecting their faces from the impacts of the fall. However, if you can't do this in time, you can most likely end up with a broken jaw. In such cases, the damage might be more extensive than simply the jaw and therefore you need some more extensive checkups.
Whenever you suspect you have cracked your jawbone, it's imperative that you come and see us. We'll perform a series of tests to ascertain if you have done so and take the necessary measures to correct it.