FACIAL TRAUMA

WHAT IS FACIAL TRAUMA?

Facial trauma is bone or soft tissue damage to the face caused by motor vehicle accidents, assaults (including gunshots), sports injuries, falls, chemical exposures, thermal burns, or animal bites. Facial trauma may cause a permanent loss of function (seeing, chewing, speaking, and swallowing) and disfigurement if not treated, as the human face is an intricate area containing many bones, blood vessels, nerves, muscles and sensory organs. Working together with practitioners can lessen this risk of permanent complications.

FACIAL SOFT TISSUE INJURIES

These include lacerations, cuts, and other damage to the face and mouth. Soft tissue damages are repaired by suturing and stitching. Facial nerves, salivary glands, and salivary ducts are also checked to ensure the underlying structures of the face and mouth are healthy and prevent further complications.

MAXILLOFACIAL BONE DAMAGE 

Fractures to the facial bones, including the jaw, eye socket, cheek, and nose, are common signs of facial trauma. Whereas a bone fracture to the arm or leg can be stabilized using casts and slings, facial fractures are stabilized by carefully placing small plates and screws, which allow the injured bones to heal without the limitations of wiring.

INJURIES TO THE TEETH

Another type of facial trauma are injuries to the teeth and jaws. If you have a tooth that has been knocked out or displaced or the supporting bone structure has fractured, we can help. If a tooth has been knocked out or has otherwise fallen out, you should soak the tooth in milk or saltwater and contact us right away. Having the tooth reinserted as soon as possible increases its chance of reattachment.

DIAGNOSING FACIAL INJURIES

After careful physical examination, imaging tests using Computed Tomography or CT, are the most effective way to assess face trauma, since it allows imaging of bone, soft tissue, blood vessels and other structures.

WHEN YOU SHOULD MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US  

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should consider talking to your dentist about seeing an oral surgeon:

  • Swelling in the gums, face, lymph nodes, or jaw could be an indicator of infection.
  • Jaw joint problems. Pain, stiffness, locking, or popping around the jaw joint.
  • Knocked out tooth. Including a wiggly tooth (in adults) or a tooth that suddenly fell out.
  • Bleeding or aching gums. Regular bleeding of the gums when flossing or brushing.
  • A growth or sore. A persistent growth or sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal.
  • Intense pain radiating down the neck and into the ear, which may intensify when laying down.
  • Extreme toothaches. Considerable tooth and jaw pain that is constant and severe.

IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS OR HAVE RECENTLY SUFFERED A FACIAL TRAUMA, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT WITH US!