What is Jaw Wired Shut?
Jaw wired shut may be done for you for many reasons, including a broken jaw or jaw surgery. The wires help hold your jaw in place while you heal.
Jaw Wired Shut Care
Keep your mouth clean
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water after eating or drinking anything. To make salt water, mix ½ tsp of salt in one cup of warm water.
- Brush the front of your teeth with a child-sized, soft toothbrush after you eat.
- If you need to vomit, bend over and open your lips. Always rinse out your mouth and brush your teeth after vomiting.
What is going to happen during jaw wiring surgery?
- Your healthcare provider will move your jaw into the correct position. If you have a broken jaw, the provider will guide the broken bones back together.
- An arch bar may be attached to your upper and lower jaws. Thin wires may be threaded through and behind your teeth. Elastic bands may be placed to connect the upper and lower bars. The bands will prevent you from being able to open your mouth.
- You may also need screws placed in your upper and lower jaws. The wires are used to hold the right and left sides in place when attached to the screws.
How to take care of swelling due to Jaw Wired Shut
- Follow your health care provider’s instructions about how to help the swelling go down.
- Consider pillows to Sit up or prop yourself up with pillows behind your back to help with swelling.
How to take care of pain and discomfort due to Jaw Wired Shut
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking pain medicine.
- Use petroleum jelly on your lips to keep them from drying and cracking.
- Cover the wire with dental wax if any wires are poking into your lips or gums.
Follow your health care provider’s instructions
- Follow your health care provider’s directions about what you can and cannot eat.
- Follow the instructions of your physician if any medicines needed.
- Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.
Only cut jaw wires in an emergency
- It is advised to secure wire cutters with you at all times. Use them only in an emergency to cut the wires that hold your jaw together.
- Do not cut the jaw wires:
- Even if you are tired of having your jaw wired.
- Even if you are hungry.
- Even if you need to vomit.
- You may cut the wires that hold your jaw together only:
- If you have trouble breathing.
- If you are choking.
- Do not cut the wires that connect to your back teeth (arch wires). If you must cut the wires in an emergency, cut straight across the wires that hold your mouth closed. These are the wires that are connected to the arch wires.
Contact your doctor if:
- You have a fever.
- You feel nauseous or you vomit.
- You feel that one or more wires have broken.
- You have fluid, blood, or pus coming from your mouth or incisions.
- You are dizzy.
Call for help right away if:
- You had to cut the wires that hold your jaw together.
- Your pain is severe and is not helped with medicine.
- You faint.