Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I tripped and landed on my jaw earlier today, what should I do?"
at first it felt like there was a pop in my left ear and I thought that maybe some fluid was coming out but Im not sure. My jaw only hurts up near my ear now but it is most painful when I bite down hard or open wide. What should I do? is it serious or should I just put some ice on it and let it soften up?
Sorry to hear about your problem and I recommend that you speak with your doctor. Trauma of any sort can be a problem for several reasons. In addition to the obvious harm that can come to you, there is also the fact that some level of trauma is so common. While most of this trauma will tend to heal by itself without too much intervention, there is often the question about when an injury is large enough that it needs to be seen by a physician. In almost all cases, the best thing to do if there is a question is to err on the side of speaking with a physician. Many times, primary care doctors will have phone numbers available and can provide some guidance about whether or not you need to be seen. With your specific question, your dentist may also be able to provide some assistance. In general, mandibular trauma can be managed conservatively if there is not a fracture. Some signs of a fracture include increased laxity or mobility of the jaw, missing teeth, malocclusion, persistent pain, and other problems that don't resolve. Jaw trauma can also hurt the jaw joint, which may pre-dispose to TMJ syndrome. Please speak with your doctor.
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