What Is It?
When a bone breaks or cracks, the injury is called a fracture. Jaw fractures are the third most common type of facial fractures, after fractures of the nose and cheekbone. They can be caused by many different types of impacts to the lower face, including:
- An accidental fall, especially in children who are playing and in adults who faint
- Hitting the dashboard during a car accident
- A fall from a motorcycle or bicycle
- A fall or collision during contact sports
- A punch to the jaw
The jaw bone is also called the mandible. It is a long bone that includes your chin and angles up toward your ear on both sides of your face. On each side, the end of the jawbone is rounded like a ball. This "ball," called the condyle, is the part of the jaw joint right in front of your ear. It lets you open and close your mouth. The jaw joint is also called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.