Tips to Prevent Jaw Injuries
The jaw can be injured by any number of factors, such as falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries or an altercation. If the upper or lower jaw is seriously injured, jaw surgery may be necessary to return the jaws to their proper position.
Jaw surgery can also help to restore the function of many components of the jaw following some source of damage.
A jaw injury may not necessarily result from trauma either. Your jaw can suffer if you unconsciously clench or grind your teeth (bruxism), have other parafunctional habits, or congenital jaw issues can result in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which can cause significant discomfort.
Jaw surgery may be a recommended treatment in these cases, as well, if the damage is severe enough. However, most patients who suffer from bruxism or a TMJ disorder will undergo a more conservative course of treatment and only move to surgical interventions if those previous efforts do not alleviate symptoms. An oral surgeon must be involved in planning any portion of the treatment, including non-surgical as well as surgical interventions.
Many common sense measures can help to prevent jaw injuries and help you avoid surgery. Here are a few measures that you can take to lower your risk:
- Use your jaw only for the purpose it was intended – chewing food! Don’t try to open bottles or bite into non-food objects. Not only can it damage your teeth, it can injure your jaw as well.
- Wear a mouthguard if you play contact sports. Some evidence suggests that doing so may mediate the effects of concussions, as well as jaw injuries.
- Keep your living space clear of tripping hazards. If there’s nothing on the floor that can cause a fall, you’ve eliminated a risk factor for jaw injuries.
- Stress can contribute to bruxism, so explore steps to manage your mood, like meditation, hobbies or exercise.
- Have any general health issues like hypotension, hypoglycemia, inner ear vestibular problems, or neurogenic causes of syncope identified, treated and prevented.
Patients can take precautions to reduce the likelihood that they’ll suffer a jaw injury. Contact our team at ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio to learn more about these preventive measures. Call 312-328-9000 for more information.