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Jaw Fractures from Automobile Collisions


n medical terms, a jaw fracture is called a “mandibular fracture” as it is a fracture of the mandible or jaw bone. It is a common fracture in both car accidents and in altercations as the mandible is prominent and gets hit before other bones.

What is a Jaw Fracture?

A jaw fracture or mandibular fracture involves a fracture of the bone that causes the mouth to open and close. Fractures of the mandible are often multiple and involve the mucosa of the mouth so that infections are likely. It also results in the teeth being out of place until the fracture is fixed.

The mandible is a thick bone that takes a great deal of pressure and force to break. Whenever someone sustains a mandibular fracture, the doctor must also rule out other major injuries, such as a cerebral spine injury and a head injury with internal bleeding. The bone is an irregularly shaped bone that forms a U-shape in the middle with a portion that goes up on either side in order to form the condyle, which is the part of the bone that fits in the socket in front of the ear and acts as a hinge to open and close the mouth. When the bone is fractured in any part of the bone, the bite is abnormal.

Jaw Fracture Causes 

There are no medical reasons for getting a jaw fracture. All reasons behind a fracture of the mandible are related to physical trauma unless a person has some kind of bony tumor causing a weak bone. Several causes of a fracture of the jaw include the following:

  • A motorcycle accident where the rider flies over the handlebars.
  • A motor vehicle accident in which the person hits the dashboard with their chin.
  • A motor vehicle accident in which the person hits the steering wheel with their chin.

The jaw tends to jut out over many of the other bones of the face, making it the obvious bone to be struck first in an injury.

Types of Jaw Fractures

The fancy term for a broken jaw is a “mandibular fracture,” which always results from excessive force to the jaw.  The statistics on the number of mandibular fractures

There are a few different types of jaw fractures that vary in severity. They include:

  • Commuted Fracture – The bone is splintered or crushed.
  • Greenstick Fracture – The bone is cracked but not completely broken.
  • Compound Fracture – The bone is broken and penetrates the skin.
  • Simple Fracture – The bone breaks but does not pierce the skin.

Regardless of the type of fracture, immediate medical attention is necessary when dealing with a broken jaw. All kinds of issues can arise from this injury including breathing difficulty, blocked airway, infection, and tooth misalignment. So the best course of action is to go to the emergency room should you or someone you know breaks their jaw.

These are awful injuries, but they are relatively easy to treat. Typical treatment involves painkillers and a liquid diet. Still, more severe fractures can lead to surgery, which usually involves having the jaw wired to a patient’s teeth. This usually entails a six to eight-week diet of only soft foods or liquids.

Representation for Broken Jaws

If you’ve suffered a jaw injury of any sort from a North Carolina automobile collision caused by another driver’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. Maginnis Law’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard is experienced in handling complex cases including those involving victims who have suffered jaw injuries due to the negligence of another North Carolina driver.

All personal injury matters are handled on a contingency basis – meaning that you do not pay any attorneys’ fee unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. You can contact us at 919.526.0450 or send a message through our contact page.