As some South Carolina drivers may know, a broken jaw may result from facial trauma in a car crash. This sort of fracture requires immediate treatment by a health care provider, and treatment may last for a considerable time.
The symptoms associated with a fractured jaw include swelling of the face and bruising. Jaw pain, particularly when speaking and chewing, should be noted. Opening the jaw is difficult, and there may be bleeding. The jaw may feel stiff, and dentition may loosen. In addition, the face may feel numb.
A jaw may also be dislocated. Additional symptoms include problems talking, a sensation that the jaw is off-center, difficulty closing the mouth and drooling, or protrusion of the jaw. Pain in the area where the jaw and the skull meet may occur, and jaw movement may increase the pain. When the jaw is dislocated, the teeth may not align properly.
Medical authorities recommend seeking attention quickly since a fractured jaw may result in breathing difficulties. The extent of the fracture determines the treatment. Sometimes, a small fracture may heal by itself. However, if the fracture is severe or moderate, surgery may be needed. Wiring the jaw is a way to increase stability, and the wires remain in place from six to eight weeks. In addition, the teeth may be stabilized with small bands made of rubber, particularly if the teeth were loosened in the accident. Eating a soft diet is mandatory.
If jaw fractures are suffered in car accidents, the injured parties may be unable to work for some time and may accumulate medical bills. Consulting an attorney may be helpful. The attorney may review accident data to determine if another driver was at fault. If so, the attorney may assist the injured individual in filing a personal injury lawsuit.