Having a dislocated jaw can be annoying—not to mention painful. A dislocated jaw occurs when the lower jaw comes out of its place where it connects to the skull. This joint is called the temporomandibular joint. Dislocation can happen for a variety of reasons with the most common reason being sports injuries. Another common reason the jaw can come unhinged is when the muscle connecting the jaw and skull has been stressed due to a temporomandibular disorder.
The first step in treating your dislocated jaw is identifying whether it's actually dislocated or not. The easiest and safest way to confirm this is by slightly opening your mouth with your hand placed gently below you check bone. If you feel a side-to-side motion under your skin, you most likely have a dislocated jaw.
What To Do After You Find Out It's Dislocated
Once you have confirmed jaw dislocation, the next step is treatment until you can come see us at our office. Take some anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling that will occur and relieve some of your pain. Once you take some medication, get an ice pack and place it inside of an old t-shirt. Keep the ice pack gently pressed against both sides of your face for up to 15 minutes at a time. After 15 minutes, take the ice pack off and give your skin a break. You can rotate its use every 15 minutes.
If you have dislocated your jaw, there is no guarantee that it will go back into place on its own. A dislocated jaw could be a symptom of worsening dental condition, so we recommend you give us a call when you are able to. At our office, we will be able to help you solve your dislocated jaw and help you in the healing process. We may suggest wearing a device that wraps around your to jeep your jaw from opening too widely while it heals.
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