The skull and bones of the face make up the most complex area of the skeleton in the body, according to the University of Washington’s Department of Radiology. Statistics cite the jaw as the 10th most commonly broken bone throughout the skeleton.
A broken jaw , which most often occurs in the lower jowl (called the mandible), can be excruciatingly painful and lead to many complications, from obstruction of breathing and dental injuries to post-treatment Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder. Until recently, mandibular fractures were 2x as prevalent as other facial fractures, however, the increased occurrence of high-speed auto accidents is causing a decrease in this ratio.
If you or someone that you care about suffered a broken jaw due to another’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured. Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers believe that victims of injury deserve justice.
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Causes of a Broken Jaw
Approximately 70% of automotive collisions result in some sort of facial injury. The mandible is somewhat flexible due to the way TMJs move and absorb the force of a blow. Still, due to the shape of the bones that connect the jaw, double – sometimes triple – fractures can occur. The average, according to the University of Washington, is between 1.5 and 1.8 per patient.
The most common causes for a facial fracture include the following:
- Auto Accidents
- Physical Fights/Assaults
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Sports Related Injuries
- Industrial Accidents
- Gunshot Wounds
Broken jaw injury is three times more common in males than females. Fortunately, only 5% of mandibular fractures affect children due to the resiliency in a growing child’s skull. Most broken jaws in children are caused by automobile accidents, with approximately 1/3 resulting from bicycle accidents.
There are several types of fracture that can affect the jaws. If you or a loved one suffered a broken mandible due to another’s negligence, contact a knowledgeable attorney today.
Types of Jaw Fracture
There are 4 commonly known types of fracture, and jaw fractures are characterized by the location of the break, which can happen in several places.
The 4 common types of bone fracture:
- Simple: bone is broken but does not protrude through skin (also known as closed fracture)
- Greenstick: bone is cracked but does not break completely
- Compound: bone is exposed through skin (also known as open fracture)
- Commuted: bone is crushed or splintered into many pieces
The jaw can experience any of these types of fracture. Because a mandibular fracture is one of the more common broken bone injuries, a fracture will occur less in the upper jaw, or maxillary. However, these types of fractures do occur. A LeFort I fracture, for instance, is a break of the upper jaw that usually occurs with downward force, causing the bone that protects the teeth to break horizontally just underneath the nose.
The most frequently occurring fractures in the jaw include:
- LeFort I
- Other Maxillary
In 30 – 40% of cases of mandibular fracture, the break occurs a few inches past the chin, or approximately 1/3 of the way between the chin and curvature of the jawbone behind the lower teeth, (the ‘body’ of the mandible); occurring second most frequently about 2/3 between (the ‘angle’). Remaining fractures can occur close to the TMJs or down the center of the jaw at the chin.
Treatment for a Broken Jaw
Whether a patient suffers a simple fracture to the mandible or a commuted fracture close to the TMJ, the cost of treatment will not be low, and the pain can be unbearable. These injuries require emergency medical care, and 911 should be called immediately. A makeshift bandage may be used to hold the jaw in place while waiting for emergency personnel.
Considering the complications that can arise from a broken jaw, including threats to the breathing process, doctors may have to perform emergency procedures before treating the broken jaw.
- Airway blockage
- Uncontrolled blood flow
- Inhaling blood or other particles
Once these life-threatening side effects have been treated, doctors carefully analyze the area using imaging technology. The currently preferred method is a high-resolution CT scan, which can show both the damage to the bones, and how the bones are affecting the surrounding soft tissue.
Minor fractures may only be treated with pain medications and a soft or liquid diet. Moderate to severe fractures usually require surgery, and plates may be inserted or the mouth may be wired for 6 – 8 weeks to promote proper healing, during which a liquid or soft diet is also required.
Post-treatment complications can arise, including problems aligning the teeth, TMJ disorders, infection in the jaw or face and difficulty eating or speaking. Additional medical treatments may be required in such cases. Some broken jaw accidents require the attention of specialists, such as plastic surgeons or orthodontists.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Most broken jowls will heal completely after treatment, but the trauma can be unforgettable. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a situation that ended in a broken jaw, Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help determine if you are eligible for compensation.
We have a proven track record of obtaining the maximum compensation for individuals like you. We are proud to protect the rights of Connecticut’s citizens, and have offices conveniently located in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport, serving the following areas:
- East Haven
- North Haven
- …and cities across the Constitution State
Get more information on how our CT personal injury lawyers can help you. Call us at 1-800-PERKINS (outside of Connecticut, call 203-397-1283,) today to share the details of your case with one of the professionals on our intake team, and get connected quickly to an attorney with expertise and experience related to your case.
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