Fractures of the bones of the face, especially the jaw, are very common injuries. Facial fractures are typically caused by direct force to the bone.
The most common causes are:
- Motor vehicle accident
- Sports injury
- Industrial accident
Signs and symptoms will depend on the bone that is fractured. Nasal fractures cause nosebleeds, swelling, pain and make it difficult to breathe. Cheekbone fractures and those of the eye sockets cause double vision, pain, swelling and numbness to the upper lip. The most common symptoms of a fractured jaw are pain, swelling of the face, numbness to the lip or chin, an abnormal bite and bleeding from the mouth. Another potential result of a jaw fracture is problems breathing due to loss of support to the tongue.
A broken jaw will be diagnosed by your doctor with a physical examination or X-ray.
If you have a facial-bone fracture that is causing functional or cosmetic problems, you will need to undergo jaw surgery to re-align the bone to stabilize it to promote healing. Most commonly, patients who require treatment will be admitted to the hospital for surgical treatment.
After healing, replacement of lost bone and/or teeth can be provided.