How Does Jaw Fracture Occur And How Should Jaw Fracture Be Treated?
Jaw fractures occur as a result of heavy impact. Treatment is possible and the jaw surgeon should be consulted without loss of time. In order for the patient to restore the pre-fracture functioning, the broken parts are transferred to original position, aligned and secured using wires, plates, screws, prostheses or special splints.
After Treatment Of Jaw Fracture?
Jaw fractures usually heal within 6 to 8 weeks. Following conditions require attention in order to manage the condition properly.
- Use of Medications
The jaw surgeons can prescript a variety of medications to use in this period. Antibiotics and pain killers should be used regularly, as advised by the physician.
In the recovery period, the patient should not chew. In this process, patients should usually eat liquid and soft foods. Otherwise, screws and plates will get loose.
- Home care
In the recovery process, oral hygiene is very important. According to suggestions of the surgeon, the wires are cleaned using a soft brush without damaging the surrounding tissues and the mouthwash is used.
To reduce swelling, ice compression is applied for 10 minutes followed by 10-minute break within first 24 hours after surgery. Swelling start relieving after first 4-7 days; if swelling progressed, this may indicate a potential infection.
Care of incision line is important for both infection control and prevention of scar.
If the stitches are placed inside the mouth, the area should be brushed gently and antiseptic mouthwashes should be used. The stitches that are placed outside of the mouth should not be removed, until the bandage placed to cover stitches is removed; the incision line should be cleaned with soapy water or peroxide and topical antibiotic should be applied after stitches are removed. It is necessary to avoid sunlight or sunscreen cream or lotion and a hat should be used, in case of necessity, for 6 months after the operation.
Since the surgery is carried out under general anesthesia, patients should avoid works that need attention for the first 24 hours. Alcohol should not be consumed until the treatment is ceased.
- Wires and brackets
Wires play a very significant role in the treatment, but they may get loose over time. In case of excessive loosening, intervention by a jaw surgeon may be required. Sometimes, wires may irritate cheeks and gums. In this case, the wax prescribed or supplied by the jaw surgeon will be applied on wires. Although break or dislocation of wires is impossible, a potential condition requires consultation to a doctor. Infection and malunion are possible outcomes of intentional cutting of wires.
Vomiting should lead to a worry. As patients are allowed only liquid foods, it is not necessary to panic as the thrown will be fluid. When a need to vomit is felt, the patient should bend forward and let the vomit come out. Wires may break off if they are forced too much; in this case, it is necessary to contact the doctor as soon as possible. The jaw surgeon should be notified in case of difficulty breathing, constant nausea and high fever.
The jaw surgeon should regularly assess the patient and the patient should regularly present for follow-up visit as a measure taken for potential complications.