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Mandible dislocation happens when the condyle, which is a rounded part of the jaw bone, moves from its place in the temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ, and gets stuck in front of a bony section, called the articular eminence, causing a lot of pain and discomfort.
This can happen when you open your mouth a lot like when yawning or during a dental procedure, for example, or when there is a problem with the temporomandibular joint. If this happens, and the mandible does not return to the correct location, go to the hospital immediately and do not attempt to reposition it at home.
Treatment consists of using a correct technique to reposition the jaw in the correct place, which should only be done by a doctor. However, in more severe cases, surgery may also be necessary.
What are the symptoms
When the jaw is dislocated, severe pain and discomfort, difficulty speaking, and inability to open or close the mouth may occur. Also, the jaw can be twisted to one side.
How the treatment is done
Sometimes the jaw can fall back into place without treatment, however if this doesn't happen then intervention by a dentist or other doctor may be needed who will put the jaw back in place, pulling it down and tilting the chin up, in order to reposition the condyle.
Once the jaw is back in place, the doctor may place a Barton bandage to limit movement of the jaw and prevent further dislocation. In addition, excessive opening of the mouth should be avoided for at least 6 weeks, and hard foods that require a lot of chewing such as meat, carrots or toast should be avoided, and soft foods such as soups and porridge should be preferred..
If maxillary dislocation becomes very frequent, surgery may be required to fix the condyle with surgical threads in order to prevent the temporomandibular joint from locking again, and reduce the risk of future dislocations.
The displacement of the jaw can happen due to an injury, or in situations where the mouth is opened a lot, such as when yawning or during dental procedures or even when vomiting.
However, it can also occur in people who have malformation of the bones of the jaw, or problems with the temporomandibular joint, who have had previous injuries to the jaw, or who suffer from hypermobility syndrome, which is a condition in which it occurs laxity in ligaments and joints.
Displacement is also more likely to occur in people who have had previous dislocations.
How to prevent
In people at risk of suffering a dislocation of the jaw, the dentist may indicate the use of a plate to be used throughout the day or only during the night when sleeping, which helps the jaw to move correctly.
There are also surgical procedures that can help prevent re-displacement of the jaw.