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What Is an Oral Maxillofacial Injury?

By March 10, 2019Cosmetic Surgery

Oral maxillofacial injury, also known as facial trauma, is any physical injury to the mouth and face. Oral maxillofacial trauma involves injuries to the soft tissue, such as bruises, lacerations, burns, or fractures of the facial bones (fractures of the jawbone, and nasal fractures). Maxillofacial trauma also includes injuries to the eyes.

Symptoms of maxillofacial injury include loss of function, swelling, severe pain, visible changes in the shape of oral/facial structures, etc. and are specific to the kind of injury incurred.

Maxillofacial trauma can lead to disfigurement and loss of function, such as difficulties in moving the jaw or blindness. Though maxillofacial trauma is not always life-threatening, it may sometimes be deadly because it can either cause interference to the airway or cause severe bleeding. Hence, the main focus in maxillofacial injury treatment Houston is to ensure that bleeding is arrested and that the airway is kept open so that the patient’s breathing is not severed.

Depending on the kind of maxillofacial trauma, maxillofacial injury treatment Houston may include binding the injury with bandages, suturing of any open wound, moving bones back into place, placing ice on the injury area, taking antibiotics and painkillers, and surgery. In the case of fractures, radiography may be required for diagnosis. Maxillofacial injury treatment Houston may also be required for other severe facial traumas, such as traumatic brain injury.

Oral maxillofacial injuries include physical injuries to the jaw, jawbone, mouth, and face. These injuries range from lacerations to facial cuts to more severe oral/facial problems like broken teeth and broken facial bones. Oral maxillofacial injury normally occurs during accidental falls, home-related or work-related accidents, fights or assaults, recreational activities, sports or automobile accidents, etc.

Most patients with maxillofacial injuries are first taken to the emergency unit before they are referred to a plastic surgeon or an oral maxillofacial surgeon for further treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Maxillofacial Injury

The signs and symptoms of oral maxillofacial injury include:

  • Skin rashes or infections
  • Facial tingling or numbness
  • Widening of the distance between the eyes. This is an indication of injuries to the eye sockets
  • Discolouration or bruises behind the eyes, the ears, or under the tongue
  • Severe facial pain
  • Lacerations, cut or puncture on the face
  • Misshapen face or facial swelling
  • Difficulties in seeing, breathing, swallowing, or talking.

The Nature of Maxillofacial Injury Treatment in Houston

As stated above, there are several different causes of maxillofacial trauma, which include auto accidents, home-related/work-related injuries, accidental falls, interpersonal violence, and sports injuries. More so, the types of maxillofacial traumas range from dental injuries to severe skin injuries, from fracture of the bones of the face to brain trauma.

Oral maxillofacial injuries are typically classified as either soft tissue injuries (injuries to the jaw, gums, and skin), bone injuries (bone fractures), or injuries to special parts of the body like the salivary gland, facial nerves, or the eyes.

Soft Tissue Injuries

These include lacerations and cuts on the facial skin and injuries to the gums. Soft tissue injuries are usually repaired by suturing. Aside from the special care that is given to repair the soft tissue injuries to yield the result, additional inspection and treatment are given to structures like the salivary ducts, salivary gland, and facial nerves.

Do you need the service of a well-trained oral maxillofacial surgeon who is experienced at diagnosing and treating any form of soft tissue injuries? Visit Premiere Surgical Arts today.

Bone Injuries

Facial bones fracture is treated in a similar manner to the fractures in any other part of the body. The specific type of maxillofacial injury treatment Houston administered for bone injuries is determined by a number of factors, which include the general health of the patient, the age of the patient, how severe the fracture is, and the location of the fracture.

For instance, when a bone in the arm or leg is fractured, the doctor would have to place a cast to stabilize the bone to enable it to heal up properly. But for a facial bone, a cast cannot be placed, instead, other means would be adopted to stabilize the facial bone to heal fast.

One of the options available for treating the facial bones fractures includes wiring the jaws together in the case of certain bone fractures of the upper or lower jawbone. Other option may include the surgical placement of small plates and screws at the affected site to treat and stabilize the bones. This type of treatment enables quick healing without the need of having the jawbones wired together.

This second option is a recent development and is usually referred to as “rigid fixation” of a fracture. This option has been found to greatly improve the recovery period for most patients, enabling their mouth to return to its normal function faster.

The maxillofacial injury treatment Houston for bone injury should be carried out in a careful and predictable manner, especially for facial bone fractures. This is because the treatment must not affect the patient’s facial appearance or at most only minimally. In an attempt to access the facial bones for treatment, only the fewest incisions necessary should be made. Also, these necessary incisions must be very small and made in such a way that the resultant scar will be hidden.

Injuries to the Special Part of the Body

Special injuries to teeth and other delicate dental parts are quite common during an oral maxillofacial injury and may require the service of various professional dentists. The expertise of an oral surgeon is usually required to treat broken supporting bone, to remove severely broken teeth, or to re-insert teeth that have been knocked out. A broken supporting bone may be treated by stabilizing the bone with wire or bond. If a tooth is removed, it should be placed in milk or salty water. More so, the sooner the removed tooth is re-implanted into the jawbone, the better chance that the tooth will survive.

Hence, patients with such injury should see their dentist or an oral surgeon immediately. In the case of a loose tooth, don’t make an attempt to pull the tooth out. It’s possible that some remnants of the ligament are still attached and holding the tooth in the jaw. These attached ligaments are very vital to the success of re-inserting the tooth.

In some severe cases, other dental specialists, such as the endodontists, may be called upon to perform root canal treatment, or a restorative dentist to repair or rebuild the broken tooth. However, in the case where the injured tooth cannot be saved or rebuild, a dental implant would be used to replace the missing teeth.

The oral maxillofacial injury treatment Houston involves a complex and meticulous procedure and must be conducted in a careful and predictable manner. Therefore, a specialist who is well-trained and experienced in emergency care, rehabilitation of the patient, long-term reconstruction, and acute maxillofacial treatment must be approached for the proper oral maxillofacial injury treatment of soft tissue injuries, bone injuries, or injuries to special parts of the body.

Visit Premiere Surgical Arts today and receive the extensive and hands-on specialized maxillofacial injury treatment in Houston needed to treat your oral maxillofacial injury.

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