Complications of Severe Facial Injury

Have you ever noticed that one of our very first reactions to a possible accident is the immediate effort to shield our head and face?

When someone throws a punch or if we get involved in an automotive accident, our arms and hands fly to our face in order to try to prevent ourselves from sustaining any serious damage. Most of the time, we do not even think about the response of protecting our face–we just do it automatically.

Maxillofacial trauma is injuries that are in danger of being easily missed, and this lapse can lead to severe issues and irritation in the future if they are not addressed in a prompt manner. This sort of face trauma can result in orbital and nasal fractures, soft tissue injury, mandibular fractures, as well as other difficulties. Any harm that is endured to the maxillofacial region needs specialized treatment and consideration due to the fact that so many of our significant sensory systems and fundamental structures are situated in the head, neck, and face.

Mandibular fractures, also known as jaw fractures, are one of the most common skeletal facial injuries after nasal fractures. Additionally, it’s estimated that mandibular fractures create as high as 70% of maxillofacial damages. This is due to the way our jaws normally stick out and since the jaw has less support from the cranium than other locations of the face. The mandibular is a mobile U-shaped bone that connects on both sides of the jaw. The mobility of this bone permits us to move our jaw and it also houses our teeth. The most frequent reasons for jaw fractures consist of:

▪ Traffic Collisions
▪ Falls
▪ Physical Assault
▪ Physical Activities

Symptoms of a Bone Fracture

Typically, the mandible will break in two locations, at the site of the direct collision and also in the spot directly opposite of the initial area. Every damage sustained to the jaw bone should really be examined by medical professionals within 24 hours of the accident. The primary symptoms of mandibular fractures involve loss of function like speaking, respiration, and chewing, as well as swelling, pain, redness. Additionally, bruising and tingling of the face and neck might follow these bone fractures. If a patient thinks that they have broken their jaw, it is important to get medical attention quickly. A broken mandible may potentially interrupt the airway, weakening the ability to breathe.

Trauma to the Teeth

Given that the jaw bone houses all of our teeth, dental trauma is an issue when taking care of these types of injuries. Malocclusion is the incapability to correctly straighten the teeth as a result of damage. It can develop in just about any combination of areas including the mandibular arch, maxillary arch, and the anterior and posterior sections. Other traits to look out for can be tooth and root cracks, missing teeth, as well as chipped teeth. Treatment options incorporate restorative dental care, orthodontics, soft tissue restoration, temporomandibular joint surgery, and more procedures depending on the type and seriousness of the problem.

Dental Specialists

When a doctor has diagnosed the problem, they will often send the patient to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for additional therapies. Fundamentally, oral and maxillofacial doctors specialize in the diagnosis and care of issues pertaining to the facial territory. These specialists have been trained in both medical and dental practices to make sure that they are capable of addressing a variety of frequent oral surgical complications such as:

▪ Salivary Gland Disorder
▪ Oral Cancer
▪ Facial Trauma
▪ Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Treatment and Restoration

Orthognathic surgery, also referred to as corrective jaw surgery, is executed by the OMS– the oral and maxillofacial surgeon–once they have established that this procedure is appropriate for the degree of damage that the patient is enduring. When the mandible has been repositioned or restored, the operating surgeon will use various solutions to secure the mandible in the new place while it recovers. Medical items such as medical plates, rubber bands, screws, and wires will be installed in the jaw during surgery. Maxillofacial injuries and the resulting oral damage call for more than one doctor to help the patient through therapy and healing. As an example, endodontists can perform root canal procedures and corrective dentists can manage broken and chipped teeth.

For patients who need medical operations to repair their damages, the recovery process can last up to 6 weeks. A soft food diet regimen is vital during this time since harder types of foods can lead the medical plates to break. Furthermore, a great oral hygiene schedule at the time of the initial few weeks after surgery will allow the surgery site to resist any type of infection. As reported by the King’s College Hospital, the patient needs to clean their mouth out with warm salt water or mouthwash at least three times a day for a week promptly following surgical operation. A small soft-bristled toothbrush, similar to a kid’s, is suitable to clean the teeth surrounding the surgery site. The King’s College Hospital also advises that patients do not smoke throughout the recovery process considering it can improve the possibility of infection.

A maxillofacial injury may be brought on by a mixture of experiences. It is crucial for the patient to seek medical attention as soon as possible if they believe that they could have suffered an affliction to the facial region, or if they suffer any one of the complications that have been provided above.

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