Skip to Content

Jaw Fracture in Adults


A jaw fracture is a break in your jawbone. It may take weeks or months for the jawbone to heal. You will need to protect your jaw and care for your mouth while the bones heal.



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.


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


  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • A tetanus shot may be given if you have an open wound from your injury. Tetanus bacteria can enter your body through a wound and make you very sick. A tetanus shot is medicine to help prevent you from getting the bacteria. You should have a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the past 5 to 10 years.


X-ray or CT pictures may be taken of your jaw. The pictures may also be done after surgery to check if your broken bones are in the proper position. You may be given contrast liquid to help the bones show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.


  • Closed reduction is a procedure used to move your broken jawbones back to their normal position. You will not need an incision for this procedure. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about closed reduction.
  • Jaw wiring may be used to hold your jaw in place and keep it from moving. This will help the bones heal the right way. Your healthcare provider will give you a small pair of wire cutters to use in case of emergency. Before you leave the hospital, healthcare providers will teach you how to use the cutters and when to use them. You will need to keep the cutters with you at all times until the wires are removed by your healthcare provider.
  • Surgery may be used to repair a severe break in your jaw.


Treatments, such as surgery, may lead to swelling, pain, bruising, bleeding, and infection. Even after treatment, you may have trouble eating or opening your mouth.


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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 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 IBM Watson Health

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 Fracture in Adults (Inpatient Care)

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

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