Patient Education: Mandible Fracture

Print PDF
Clinic Name
Clinic Address
Clinic Phone Number
Clinic Email

Mandible Fracture

Overview:A mandible fracture, also known as a broken jaw, occurs when there is a break or crack in the mandible bone, which is the lower jawbone. This type of injury can result from various causes, including trauma from accidents, sports injuries, assaults, or falls.


  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw area
  • Difficulty or pain while chewing or biting
  • Swelling or bruising around the jaw
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
  • Numbness or tingling in the chin or lower lip
  • Jaw misalignment or a noticeable change in the bite

Treatment Options:The treatment for a mandible fracture depends on the severity and location of the injury. Common treatment options include:

  1. Observation: Minor fractures that do not affect the alignment of the jaw may heal on their own with time and proper care.
  2. Immobilization: For stable fractures, the jaw may be immobilized using wiring, arch bars, or intermaxillary fixation (IMF) screws to keep the jaw in proper alignment while it heals.
  3. Surgical Repair: Complex or displaced fractures may require surgical intervention, such as open reduction internal fixation (ORIF), where the fractured bones are realigned and secured with plates, screws, or wires.

Recovery:Recovery from a mandible fracture can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the chosen treatment method. Patients may experience swelling, pain, and difficulty eating or speaking initially. It's essential to follow the healthcare provider's instructions regarding diet, oral hygiene, and activity restrictions during the recovery period. Physical therapy or jaw exercises may be recommended to restore normal jaw function and prevent stiffness.

Precautions:To promote healing and avoid complications, patients with a mandible fracture should:

  • Follow a soft or liquid diet as recommended by their healthcare provider.
  • Avoid activities that could reinjure the jaw, such as contact sports or strenuous chewing.
  • Take prescribed pain medications and antibiotics as directed.
  • Practice good oral hygiene to prevent infections.
  • Attend follow-up appointments for monitoring and removal of immobilization devices if necessary.

Complications:While most mandible fractures heal without complications, potential complications may include:

  • Infection at the fracture site
  • Malunion or nonunion of the fractured bones
  • Nerve damage leading to numbness or weakness in the face
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, such as difficulty opening or closing the mouth or jaw stiffness

Follow-Up:Patients should schedule follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider as recommended to monitor healing progress and address any concerns or complications that may arise during the recovery process. It's essential to adhere to the prescribed treatment plan and attend all follow-up visits to ensure optimal outcomes.