Health A-Z

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Symptoms of a broken jaw can include:

  • Bruising, swelling and tenderness along your jaw or below your ear

  • The feeling that your teeth don't fit together properly or that your bite is "off"

  • Improperly aligned teeth

  • Missing teeth or loose teeth

  • Swelling or a bruised area in the gum over your jawbone

  • Difficulty opening your mouth

  • Pain in your jaw joint

  • Numbness in your lower lip or chin a possible sign of nerve damage related to the fracture

When a young child falls on his or her jaw, a deep cut may occur along with a fractured jaw. Parents or other adults may focus on stopping the bleeding and not consider signs of a jaw fracture. If the child is too young to describe some symptoms, the jaw fracture may not be discovered until the child is older and complains of bite problems (malocclusion).

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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