Facial Trauma and Oral Surgery

Facial trauma can be a distressing experience, often leading to both physical and emotional challenges. The type of trauma you can suffer from varies, but those involving the jaw and teeth are more common than others. Thankfully, advancements in oral surgery techniques have provided new avenues for personalized treatment, offering hope and restoration to those affected. 

The professionals at Green Valley Oral Surgery are experts in oral surgery and can work with your medical team to diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and factures. Let’s explore how oral surgery plays a crucial role in the treatment and management of facial trauma.  

What Is Facial Trauma? 

Facial trauma encompasses injuries to the face, including the bones and soft tissues. These issues are often the result of accidents, falls, assaults, or other incidents. Such trauma can lead to fractures, lacerations, and damage to the oral cavity, requiring specialized care for optimal recovery. 

Types of Facial Trauma and What to Look For 

Facial trauma can manifest in various forms but it can be classified into two groups: facial fractures and soft tissue injuries 

Facial Fractures 

Facial fractures refer to breaks or cracks in the bones of the face, which may occur due to blunt force trauma, falls, or accidents. Common types of facial fractures include fractures of the mandible, maxilla, and nasal bones. Determining facial fractures can be easy if the injury is obvious. However, some cases may need X-rays and other diagnostic procedures to fully determine the extent of the injury. 

Facial fractures can vary, so treating each case requires a personalized approach. The severity of the damage to your jaw, teeth, and surrounding oral tissues will determine the treatment method recommended. 

Soft Tissue Injury 

Soft tissue injuries in facial trauma involve damage to the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. These problems often result from lacerations, contusions, or abrasions. The obvious signs of such injuries are open wounds, bruises, and bleeding areas. However, nerve damage can be harder to spot, so injured persons will need the assistance of medical specialists for this type of injury.  

Treating these soft tissue injuries may involve oral surgery if they’re located near the oral cavity. The procedure you may need varies depending on what facial part is damaged and how severe the issue is. 

Causes of Facial Trauma 

Facial trauma can occur due to a multitude of reasons, including the following. 

  • Sports Injury: High-impact sports such as football, basketball, or martial arts can lead to facial injuries, particularly if proper protective gear is not worn. 
  • Car Accidents: Motor vehicle collisions can cause significant facial trauma due to the force of impact, resulting in fractures, lacerations, and soft tissue damage. 
  • Injury From Assault: Physical altercations or assaults may lead to severe facial injuries, requiring immediate medical attention and intervention. 
  • Falling and Tripping: Accidental falls, whether from heights or on flat surfaces, can result in facial trauma, particularly in children and the elderly. 
  • Chemical Exposure: Burns and other injuries to the face and oral cavity are possible after exposure to harmful chemicals or substances. 

Treatment for Facial Trauma 

Treatment for facial trauma often involves a multidisciplinary approach, with oral surgery playing a pivotal role. Each treatment will be different from the next because no two injuries are the same.  

  • Facial Reconstruction Surgery: These operations encompass any type of surgical procedure aimed at restoring facial symmetry and function. Facial reconstruction surgery often involves the use of implants, bone grafts, or tissue flaps. 
  • Soft Tissue Repair: Repair of cuts, lacerations, and other soft tissue injuries using sutures, skin grafts, or tissue adhesives. 
  • Oral Surgery: Procedures such as jaw realignment, dental implant placement, and repair of oral cavity injuries may be necessary to address complex facial trauma cases. 

When Is Oral Surgery Needed? 

Oral surgery is often needed in cases where facial trauma involves the oral cavity, jawbones, or other dental structures. Here are some specific scenarios where oral surgery is necessary. 

  • Fractures of the jawbone or facial bones requiring realignment or stabilization 
  • Avulsion or loss of teeth due to trauma, prompting the need for dental implant placement or other restorative procedures 
  • Severe soft tissue injuries involving the lips, gums, or tongue. These often require surgical repair and reconstruction 
  • Damage to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) resulting from trauma, leading to functional impairments and requiring surgical intervention 

Contact Green Valley Oral Surgery for a Consultation 

Facial trauma is a significant medical concern that can have lasting effects on an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. If you or a loved one recently experienced an incident that resulted in facial trauma, we can help. The oral surgeons at Green Valley Oral Surgery can design a treatment in partnership with your medical team specific to your case. With our expert care, we can help you recover from the injuries and gain back your confident smile. Contact us to book a consultation!