Mandibular Dislocation

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A mandibular dislocation is the separation of your mandible (lower jaw) from your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When this happens, your lower jaw does not go back in place on its own.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • You may have pain, temporary nerve problems, ankylosis (joint stiffening), or bleeding in the jaw joint. Your top and bottom teeth may not line up correctly. Surgery puts you at risk of dental or gum injuries, and stretched jaw ligaments and muscles. Even after treatment, your jaw may dislocate again.

  • Without treatment, your mandibular dislocation may lead to further problems. Your pain may become worse and you may have trouble eating and talking. Scar tissue may form around your dislocated jawbone, which makes putting your jaw back in place more difficult. You may have facial nerve problems, hearing loss, and cranial (skull) injuries from the dislocated bone. If the dislocated bone goes into your skull, you may have life-threatening damage.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Anesthesia: This medicine puts you to sleep so you are comfortable while your jawbone is put in place. It may be a shot of numbing medicine. It may also be given through an IV or as a gas that you breathe while you are asleep. Your caregiver will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.

  • Muscle relaxer: These help to relax the muscles of your jaw.

  • Sedative: This medicine is given to help you stay calm and relaxed.

Tests:

  • X-ray: X-ray pictures will help your caregiver see your TMJ and check for swelling or broken bones.

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your jaw. The pictures may show if your jaw is dislocated. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

Treatment:

  • Fixation devices: You may have wires or elastic bands to prevent you from moving your jaw.

  • Manual reduction: This is a procedure to put your jaw back into its normal position. You may need a fixation device after your manual reduction.

  • Physical therapy: You may need physical therapy if you have had multiple jaw dislocations. A physical therapist will work with you to help make the muscles in your jaw stronger. This may help to stop your jawbone from dislocating again.

  • Surgery: If other treatments have not worked, you may need surgery. Surgery may be done to tighten the ligaments around your TMJ and make it more stable.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Mandibular Dislocation (Inpatient Care)

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