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Jaw Dislocation

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A jaw dislocation is the separation of your mandible (lower jaw) from your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When this happens, your lower jaw cannot go back into place on its own. A jaw dislocation may also be called a mandibular dislocation.

Dislocated Jaw

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your jawbone moves out of place again.

Call your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms do not get better, or get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Muscle relaxers help relax the muscles of your jaw.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Support your jaw. For several days after your dislocation, try not to open your mouth widely, such as when you yawn. If you do, support your jaw. You may need a chin strap or bandage to help keep a dislocation from happening again.
  • Eat soft foods. You may need to eat soft foods until your TMJ area heals. Soft foods include applesauce, baby food, bananas, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, eggs, gelatin, pudding, and yogurt.
  • Apply ice to the area. Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it over your TMJ area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
  • Go to physical therapy, if directed. Physical therapy may be needed if you have more than one jaw dislocation. 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.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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 Jaw Dislocation (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.