Broken jaw recovery guide

If you’ve recently broken your jaw, you probably don’t need to be told that you need to seek professional medical help. Of course, you should listen to your doctors, but there are some things that might be useful which they won’t tell you.  This guide aims to convey some of those things. It is by no means complete, so feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. Since my fracture was a condylar fracture that was treated by closed methods (maxillomandibular fixation, also known as wiring the jaw shut), this guide is likely to be most useful to people with similar injury and treatment, but some suggestions may be more generally applicable.

For now, I’m planning to organize the content into the following four pages (which are not all complete):

17 Responses to “Broken jaw recovery guide”

  1. Niloofar January 18, 2011 at 6:14 am #


    I had a surgery Last year on my maxilla and mandible.

    I was so good after that

    But one day around 3 months ago I ate a hard indian corn and after that I have some problems

    Front of my upper jaw moves up and down around 3 mm and I think it got loose and I sense cool on that some times

    My doctor told me if you eat liquids for 1 month (like after surgery) it will be recovered. but it doesn’t

    Please help me how I can recover that again?

    Do I need to surgery again?
    I am worry so much

    Please inform me about that

    Niloofar from Iran

    • Adam Merberg January 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      Hi Niloofar,

      Unfortunately, I’m not qualified to answer your questions. I recommend asking a doctor. I hope you receive good news.

      Best wishes,

      • Tanya March 16, 2011 at 9:04 am #

        Hi Adam ‘ I broke my jaw on the 4th and because I live in the channel island of guernsey I was flown to Southampton hospital . I have a # left symphysis with bone plates and screws and a right condyle break. I had the op for the plate on the 7th and my mouth wired shut. 7 days later a Southampton doctor was over in guernsey and he saw me for a review, at the review he removed the to front bands so that I could get a straw in, I still have 2 bands each side of my mouth but feel since he took the front bands of my face looks more twisted. I don’t see anyone again I go back to Southampton, do you think this is ok?

      • Adam Merberg March 16, 2011 at 10:11 am #

        Hi Tanya,

        I’m sorry to hear about your injury. Unfortunately, I am not an expert on oral surgery. The only knowledge I have is from my own experiences as a patient, and I’m not qualified to comment on your situation.

        Could you (or, if you can’t talk, somebody you know) call a doctor and ask? Is there any way you might be able to send digital photographs to your doctor?

        Best wishes,

  2. eric roach October 20, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    I had my jaw broke and have 2 sets of plates 2 brakes no wires no real good release instructions does and donts I had surgery on Monday its Friday now any help me with info please 3 incisions in my mouth

  3. Marcy November 23, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Hi Adam – thanks for your blog and all the great info!

    If you happen to still be monitoring it and answering questions… I’ve got one you might be able to help with. I fell off my bike as well (dog ran in front of me in the dark, yeah I’m an idiot for riding in the dark) and broke my jaw, now wired as of a week ago.

    I came home with a bunch of wax around the wires to keep them from rubbing the inside of my mouth raw, then I added more as needed. Did you remove all the wax in order to clean your teeth and then add it back afterward? I was impressed at the level of care you gave your teeth during your ordeal.

    Thank you!

    • Adam Merberg November 30, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Hi Marcy,

      My apologies for the slow reply. My recollection is that I didn’t make much use of the wax. I don’t remember why exactly, but maybe I found it just as uncomfortable as the wires, but in a different way? So I can’t really speak from personal experience on this particular point, though it does seem like it would be easier to clean a mouth without all that wax.

      Best wishes,

  4. Marcy November 30, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Thanks for the reply!
    I did remove all the wax for cleaning, that ended up working great. I haven’t needed quite as much wax as I had on initially, just a bit here and there to keep the wires from rubbing too much. It’s worth it to take it off and on in order to clean my teeth. The Water Pik is a great idea.
    Thanks again!

  5. billy goodman March 1, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    hi, i got hit with a pr of brass nucks in the the jaw which resulted in a break and my wisdom tooth causing the break, i got plate and screws my problem is half of my lower lip and chin is numb, burning and in cronic pain all the time it does seem like its getting better, but it is so annoying and cant hold a job because of the agitation and pain and it also feels like alot of pressure on all my bottom teeth seems like it is pushing upwards this happened 16 months ago and its just getting to the point to where i want to go c a doctor, but what kind i have already been to 2 different dentists and a maxifillo surgeon but no one has giving me ne kind of answers, can ne one help me

    • Beverly April 12, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      I had surgery on my left lower mandable (Ithink) The surgery was done through my ear. I was not prepared for the problems I would face,,,Ha Ha… I was told since they went through my ear some of my nerves might be disturbed and “go to sleep” to recover. My surgery was in October and I still have no control over my left eye and a major part of my left side of my face. People are now saying things like you’ll get used to the bells palsy…. I do not have that. I need a good therapist to “wake up my nerves” I’m in northwest Arkansas

      • Jo February 25, 2015 at 2:25 am #

        Have the nerves woken up? If so, what helped.. I am in the same boat.

  6. July 17, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    Here is my story and what I have learned. I broke my mandible in a bike accident treated for 5 weeks ago I was wired shut for 2 weeks and then 3 with elastic bands 12 hours on, 12 hours off.
    One of the worst things was no matter how I prepared people or tried to be reserved with speaking, they seemed to want to push the issue of what happened to me. Hard enough to talk let alone having to answer the same questions about how did it happen, how do you feel, how do you eat, how many pounds did you lose, you should do this and you should do that. This is coming from someone who works in a hospital and these were health care workers. People can be very cold when not in your shoes.

    Fight the depression that will come over you. You will get better. Nutrition is very important. I found when I was totally shut, using a syringe and tube to deliver liquids to the back of mouth between my check and gums was the easiest way to drink. There are many good options, Ensure and Boost are two good liquid supplements. Choose high calorie, high protein versions. Speak to a nutritionist to figure your dietary needs. It will take just a few minutes and worth the conversation. All hospitals have one.
    Also a high end blender such as VitaMix is great. Blend soups on high for 5 to 6 minutes, will liquify almost anything and the heat generated from the blending will heat up soup to nice warm temperature that won’t burn your mouth.
    Also a Waterpick is helpful to keep your teeth and mouth clean.
    This and other blogs are good resources, as we have been in your situation.

    • Seetal December 11, 2015 at 1:29 am #

      Hofkins this is amazing. Thank you for sharing your story and making me feel better. It’s nice to know that people experience what I am and I’m not going crazy! I’m usually a very strong person but this is mentally too much to take deal with but shall keep positive!

  7. Stella Burbank November 2, 2016 at 3:42 am #

    Hi…i broke my jaw and ear bones. I was wired.. I recoved enough to hear well, open my jaw enough to speak clearly and eat soft stuff. But i have excusiating ear pain lately. Like a lit cigarette is in my ear.. Strange painful sensation. Doctor gave me drops and antibiotics. I have neurontin for nerve pain already and take ibuprophin. Three days now to no avail.
    Need to get to a real ENT. Is this a common after effect of jaw break? Its been 6 months of decent recovery til last week when my ear started up this ear did have a lacerated ear canal as a result of jaw break.

  8. Teresa February 2, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

    I was hurting a horse accident my ljaws has broken for places and I tell you it’s this is been the worst accident that ever happened in my life after that I have implant surgery I should knock down my teeth out now I have a partial and teeth that snap onto my implants and that’s something I used to too so

    • amerberg February 2, 2018 at 1:23 pm #

      Wow, sorry you went through that! I hope things work out okay for you!


  1. Old news « Shock and Jaw - July 19, 2009

    […] 8:38 pm · Filed under Uncategorized On the right sidebar, you’ll now see links to my Broken jaw recovery guide and Recovery timeline. These are intended to condense information from the blog in a way that might […]

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