When the maxillary, or upper jaw, is fractured it is often the result of the front of the face hitting against a stationary surface. Intense pain can be expected with a maxillary fracture along with swelling and facial deformity. If the upper jaw fracture extends into the jaw, the fracture can cause the jaw to not open all of the way and the teeth to not close together properly.
If you have injured your jaw or face and are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your physician or go to the emergency department of your local hospital immediately. This is potentially a serious situation that needs immediate care and diagnosis.
A medical exam, along with an x-ray, can decide if the jaw is broken. A CT scan, computed tomography, can determine if it is the maxillary that is fractured. And often a neck x-ray is done to determine if there has been any spinal damage.
If you are also experiencing vision problems, you may also have an eye exam performed.
The usual treatment is surgery if the maxillary fracture is causing symptoms including vision, teeth not fitting together, limited jaw movement, facial numbness, or change in facial features. Often there is a waiting period of a few days for your face to lose some of its swelling to determine the next step.
If surgery is an option, it will likely include screws and plates to fixate the jaw. Your jaw may require immobilization for a few days following surgery.
Often jaw fractures involve injury to a variety of facial features and bones. Your medical team can best assess the damage done and the treatment required which is why immediate care is so important.