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Face and Jaw Surgery

Jaw dislocation

07/19/2007

Question:

My 30-year-old brother`s jaw on the right side has been dislocated 4 times this year. He is very cautious for opening mouth wide, but it still happens so frequently. He hasn`t been injuried on his jaw or face area before. Is there any way to treat it well? Thanks so much.

Answer:

A dislocated jaw (dislocated mandible) generally is very painful, hence it is not surprising that your brother is guarding his mouth opening. Jaw dislocation is typically caused by opening the mouth excessively wide or by an injury. Other causes include vomiting, yawning, looseness of the jaw (hyper mobility) and prolonged dental procedures.

From the history you provided, it appears your brother has hyper mobility of the jaw. I recommend he see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon so he could be examined and appropriate radiographs or scans can be obtained. Surgery may be needed to reduce the risk of further dislocations. There are various surgical procedures present and can be presented only after a complete evaluation.

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Response by:

Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati