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Definition A broken jaw is a break in the jaw bone. A dislocated jaw means the lower part of the jaw has moved out of its normal position at one or both joints where the jaw bone connects to the skull (temporomandibular joints). Alternative Names Dislocated jaw; Fractured jaw; Broken jaw; TMJ dislocation Considerations A broken or dislocated jaw usually heals completely after treatment. However, the jaw may become dislocated again in the future. Complications may include: Airway blockage Bleeding Breathing blood or food into the lungs Difficulty eating (temporary) Difficulty talking (temporary) Infection of the jaw or face Jaw joint ( TMJ ) pain and other problems Problems aligning the teeth Causes The most common cause of a broken or dislocated jaw is injury to the face. This may be due to: Assault Industrial accident Motor vehicle accident Recreational or sports injury
It's great to see that The New York Academy of Sciences is holding a seminar on osteonecrosis of the jaw, a painful disease in the teeth and gums that has been linked to bisphosphonate use. While the illness has been especially associated with intravenous bisphosphonates most often used for cancer patients, the widespread use of oral bisphosphonates to combat osteoporosis and osteopenia makes this a relevant issue for the bone loss community as well. The info is at http://www.nyas.org/events/eventDetail.asp?eventID=8739&date=5%2F19%2F2007+8%3A30%3A00+AM and I was particularly glad that it says "all healthcare professionals are urged to attend." It is important to learn all we can about the risks (as well as advantages) of any medication we take, and I hope that this meeting keeps the spotlight on this issue and encourages those researching this rare but dangerous side effect of bisphosphonate medication.
Taking bisphosphonates has long been considered to pose some risk -- though relatively uncommon -- of necrosis of the jaw, in which the bones in the mouth are unable to heal normally, after oral surgery for example. While intravenous bisphosphonates are the kind most associated with this side effect, the latest research suggests that oral bisphosphonates may actually decrease this risk. A study by Harvard researchers in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that oral bisphosphonate use reduced the chance of necrosis of the jaw by 35 percent in patients with osteoporosis. That's promising news for those already on medications such as Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel -- and for those suffering from osteoporosis but concerned about bisphosphonates' effect on the jaw, it might be a good time to consult with your doctor about taking into account this latest information. An article about this is on our Web site at http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/news-...
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