Podcast #252: Mandible Fractures

Author: Sam Killian, M.D.

Educational Pearls

  • The tongue blade test is done for mandible fractures, which make up 40-60% of facial fractures.
  • The test is done by having the patient bite down on a tongue depressor on one side of the mouth. The provider then tries to snap the tongue depressor. This is repeated on the other side of the mouth. The test is positive if the patient complains of pain before the depressor can be broken on either side.  
  • It has been compared to CT and X-ray and has a similar sensitivity and specificity (95% and 65%, respectively).

References: J. Neiner, et al. Tongue Blade Bite Test Predicts Mandible Fractures. Craniomaxillofac Trauma Reconstr. 2016

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