ZocdocAnswersIs my jaw broken?

Question

Is my jaw broken?

having extreme jaw pain. ive been chewing ice non stop since i was pregnant and i was still doing it after i had my baby. im 23 years old and i broke my jaw before when i was 12. when i just went to the ER they said it was just TMJ, but now do to my inability to speak or even chew food im thinking it could be more.

Answer

I would recommend that you discuss this with your primary care doctor. This is an issue best dealt by a primary care doctor, as this is not something that the emergency room best deals with. Without a history of trauma, it is unlikely that you have a broken jaw bone. The jaw bone (or the mandible) is actually a very strong bone, so only severe trauma can cause a break. There are rare diseases that cause weakening of the bone that makes it easier to fracture (known as a pathologic fracture) -- these include cancer -- but this is VERY UNLIKELY. TMJ pain syndrome stands for tempo-mandibular joint pain. The T-M joint is where the jaw bone (the mandible) attaches to the skull (on the temporal bone). Like any joint, like the knee or shoulder, this can have wear and tear and cause pain. There are ways to treat this -- talk to your doctor for more information. There are other causes of this pain. A problem where the nerves in the area are pinched (known as trigeminal neuralgia) can cause similar symptoms. In addition, dental problems like tooth abscesses or fractures can cause this pain. Talk to your doctor. A dental visit may also be helpful. Good luck!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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