Maxillary and Mandibular Fractures in Dogs
The maxilla forms the upper jaw (maxilla) and holds the upper teeth in place, whereas, the mandible, also called the jawbone, forms the lower jaw and holds the lower teeth in place.
Fractures of the upper jaw and lower jaw (mandible) are mostly seen in dogs due to injury or trauma.
Symptoms and Types
Symptoms vary greatly depending upon the type, location, extent, and cause of injury. Some of the more common ones include:
- Facial deformity
- Oral or nasal bleeding
- Inability to open or close the jaw
- Fractured teeth
- Facial distortion
Although various types of injuries and trauma are typically responsible for fractures of the upper and lower jaw, certain risk factors may predispose a dog to the fractures, including oral infections (e.g., periodontal disease, osteomyelitis), certain metabolic diseases (e.g., hypoparathyroidism), and congenital or hereditary factors resulting in a weakened or deformed jaw.
You will need first be asked for a thorough history of your dog’s health, including any injuries or traumas it may have sustained in the past. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, closely examining the oral cavity, jaw bones, teeth, and other related structures. X-rays of the oral cavity are also used to determine the location and extent of the fracture.