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How Do Facial Injuries Effect My Teeth? | Our Dental Blog

How Do Facial Injuries Effect My Teeth?

Mar 3 2019

Have you ever noticed that one of our primary reactions to a possible injury is the instant effort to guard our face and head? When a person throws a punch or if we get involved in an automotive collision, our hands and arms travel up to our face so as to attempt to prevent ourselves from any severe harm. A lot of the time, we don't even think about the motion of covering up our face--we just do this immediately.

Maxillofacial trauma is injuries that are at risk of being easily missed, and this error can cause serious problems and pain later on if they are not addressed in a prompt manner. This kind of face injury can result in soft tissue trauma, mandibular fractures, nasal and orbital fractures, and other difficulties. Any type of harm that is endured to the maxillofacial area needs specialized treatment and observation due to the fact that a lot of our significant sensory systems and vital structures are established in the head, face, and neck.

Mandibular fractures, also known as jaw fractures, are one of the most common skeletal facial injuries after nasal fractures. Additionally, it is approximated that mandibular fractures comprise as much as 70% of maxillofacial accidents. This is a result of the way our jaws typically extend and because the mandible has less support from the cranium than other regions of the face. The mandibular is a mobile U-shaped bone that is connected on both sides of the jaw. The mobility of this bone makes it possible for us to move our jaw and it also houses our teeth. Among the most common reasons for jaw fractures include:

  • Car Accidents
  • Falls
  • Physical Assault
  • Sporting Activities

Signs of a Fracture

Commonly, the jaw will crack in two places, at the site of the direct collision and also in the spot directly opposite of the first site. Any kind of damage sustained to the mandible bone should be checked out by medical professionals within 24 hours of the accident. The main symptoms of mandibular fractures involve inflammation, swelling, ache, and loss of function including chewing, talking, and respiration. In addition, bruising and tingling of the neck and face may accompany these fractures. If a person thinks that they have broken their jaw, it is important to seek medical attention right away. A broken jaw can potentially interrupt the air passage, weakening the ability to breathe.

Trauma to the Teeth

Given that the jaw bone houses all of our teeth, oral damage is a problem when dealing with these kinds of accidents. Malocclusion is the incapability to appropriately align the teeth following trauma. It can develop in just about any combination of areas containing the mandibular arch, maxillary arch, and the posterior and anterior segments. More traits to look out for include missing teeth, root and tooth fractures, as well as cracked teeth. Treatment techniques involve orthodontics, restorative dentistry, soft tissue maintenance, temporomandibular joint procedures, and other remedies depending upon the sort and intensity of the injury.

Dental Specialists

When a physician has identified the concern, they will normally refer the patient to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for additional procedures. Essentially, oral and maxillofacial doctors specialize in the medical diagnosis and care of injuries involving the facial region. These particular professionals have been educated in both medical and dental fields to ensure that they are skilled in dealing with a vast array of common oral surgical conditions including:

  • Salivary Gland Disorder
  • Oral Cancer
  • Facial Harm
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Remedies and Restoration

Orthognathic procedures, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is executed by the OMS--the oral and maxillofacial surgeon--when they have identified that this method is appropriate for the amount of injury that the patient is suffering. When the mandible has been rearranged or restored, the doctor will choose different solutions to keep the jaw in the new position while it recovers. Medical items like screws, wires, medical plates, and rubber bands will be attached in the mandible at the time of the operation. Maxillofacial damages and the resulting oral trauma call for more than one doctor to assist the patient in therapy and recovery. For example, endodontists can conduct root canal procedures and corrective dentists can care for broken and cracked teeth.

For patients who need medical operations to cure their problems, the recuperation procedure can last as much as 6 weeks. A soft food diet is vital during this time given that harder types of foods can cause the medical plates to fracture. Also, an excellent dental hygiene schedule at the time of the first few weeks following surgery will let the surgery site to fight any type of disease. As stated by the King's College Hospital, the patient should clean their mouth out with warm salt water or mouthwash approximately three times a day for a week immediately after surgical treatment. A little soft-bristled toothbrush, like a kid's, is suitable to clean the teeth surrounding the operation site. The King's College Hospital also recommends that patients do not smoke at the time of the recovery process considering it may maximize the possibility of infection.

Maxillofacial trauma could be brought on by a mixture of occurrences. It is important for the patient to get medical attention as soon as possible if they suspect that they could have received a damage to the face location, or if they suffer any one of the issues that have been provided above.

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