Facial trauma that results from an injury to the jaw, other facial bones or soft oral tissues can have serious consequences for the function and appearance of your smile if it’s not treated promptly and appropriately.
People should do everything possible to prevent the kinds of injuries that cause facial trauma. This can be accomplished by incorporating a few simple actions into your daily routine.
Causes And Effects of Facial Trauma
The most common causes of facial trauma are either accidental or result from a violent encounter, such as:
- Car accidents
- Athletic Injuries
- Physical violence (fights, criminal battery)
Facial trauma can result in injuries such as fractured bones, avulsed or broken teeth, or lacerations and/or abrasions of the soft oral tissues. All of these issues can affect your appearance, as well as your ability to do normal activities like speaking and eating.
Treatments For Facial Trauma
Patients who experience facial trauma should seek treatment as soon as possible. Doing so can help them avoid complications from bones that heal in a way that affects the functioning of the jaw and other facial structures. Many patients will be treated at an emergency department initially to stabilize the injury and then follow up with an oral surgeon for additional interventions and to monitor the progress of ongoing healing.
Treatments for facial trauma often involve surgical interventions to reset fractured bones or to repair soft tissue damage. Multiple procedures may be needed, depending on the severity of the injury.
Preventing Injuries Caused By Facial Trauma
Fortunately, many of the causes of facial trauma are largely preventable. Here are some steps that you can take to reduce your risk of facial trauma:
- Wear a seat belt: Always buckle up to reduce the likelihood of facial trauma even if you do get into a car accident.
- Use caution and common sense while driving: Follow the speed limit, avoid distractions (like texting or eating while driving) and NEVER drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Wear a custom-designed mouthguard when participating in contact sports: A custom-designed mouthguard will reduce the force of the impact from sports-related collisions.
- Assess your home and work environments for fall hazards: Look for rugs that could cause you to slip or trip, as well as clutter that could cause you to stumble.
If you experience facial trauma or are referred for additional follow-up by a physician who provides initial treatment in an emergency-based setting, contact our office to schedule your appointment.