Have you ever noticed that one of our first reactions to a possible accident is the immediate attempt to guard our face and head?
When a person throws a punch or if we get into a car collision, our arms and hands travel up to our face so as to try to shield ourselves from any major harm. Most of the time, we do not even think about the motion of protecting our face--we just do this instantly.
Maxillofacial trauma is injuries that are at risk of being quickly neglected, and this oversight can lead to harmful problems and irritation later on if they are not treated in a timely manner. This type of facial injury can cause soft tissue trauma, mandibular fractures, nasal and orbital fractures, among other difficulties. Any kind of trauma that is sustained to the maxillofacial area calls for specialized treatment and attention due to the fact that so many of our significant sensory systems and critical structures are located in the head, face, and neck.
Mandibular fractures, also known as jaw fractures, are one of the most common skeletal facial injuries following nasal fractures. In fact, it’s approximated that mandibular fractures create as high 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 areas 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 allows us to move our jaw and it also houses our teeth. Among the most frequent reasons for jaw fractures consist of:
▪ Automotive Accidents
▪ Sporting Activities
Signs and Symptoms of a Fracture
Typically, the mandible will crack in two regions, at the site of the direct impact and also in the spot directly opposite of the original site. The injury sustained to the jaw bone should really be seen by medical professionals within 24 hours of the incident. The primary signs of mandibular fractures involve swelling, inflammation, pain, and loss of function like talking, eating, and respiration. Further, numbness and bruising of the face and neck might come with these fractures. If a person thinks that they have broken the jaw, it is important to seek medical attention quickly. A broken mandible will possibly obstruct the respiratory tract, cutting off the capability to breathe.
Trauma to the Teeth
Given that the jaw bone holds all of our teeth, an oral injury is an issue when taking care of these types of issues. Malocclusion is the inability to appropriately straighten the teeth due to damage. It can happen in any sort of combination of areas containing the mandibular arch, maxillary arch, and the anterior and posterior sections. More things to pay attention to include tooth and root cracks, missing teeth, and also damaged teeth. Treatment methods incorporate restorative dental care, orthodontics, soft tissue maintenance, temporomandibular joint procedures, and additional procedures depending upon the sort and seriousness of the trauma.
Once a medical professional has identified the concern, they will often send the patient to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for additional therapies. Generally, oral and maxillofacial specialists provide services for the medical diagnosis and treatment solution for damages concerning facial territory. These types of specialists have been trained in both medical and dental fields so that they are competent in
managing a wide range of frequent oral surgical issues like:
▪ Salivary Gland Disease
▪ Oral Cancer
▪ Face Trauma
▪ Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Treatment and Healing
Orthognathic surgery also referred to as corrective jaw surgery, is performed by the OMS--the oral and maxillofacial surgeon--as soon as they have established that this operation is appropriate for the degree of injury that the patient is experiencing. After the jaw has been rearranged or restored, the operating surgeon will utilize assorted methods to secure the jaw in the new place while it recovers. Medical devices such as screws, wires, medical plates, and rubber bands will be installed in the jaw during the operation. Maxillofacial injuries and the resulting dental damage call for more than one medical professional to support the patient through treatment and recovery. For example, endodontists are able to perform root canal procedures and restorative dentists can manage damaged and fractured teeth.
For those who need medical operations to remedy their injuries, the recuperation procedure can last as long as 6 weeks. A soft food diet regimen is vital throughout this time given that tougher types of foods can lead the medical plates to crack. Furthermore, a good oral hygiene schedule at the time of the initial few weeks immediately after surgery will allow the surgery site to withstand any form of infection. As stated by the King's College Hospital, the patient should cleanse their mouth out with warm salt water or mouthwash around three times a day for a week immediately following surgical treatment. A little soft-bristled toothbrush, like a kid’s, is suitable to brush the teeth around the surgery site. The King's College Hospital even suggests that patients do not smoke at the time of the recovery process considering it may increase the risk of infection.
Maxillofacial damage may be triggered by a variety of events. It is important for the patient to seek medical attention as soon as possible if they suspect that they might have sustained damage to the face location, or if they experience any one of the problems that have been specified in this article. Also, get in contact with Dr. Hill if you think you are experiencing a dental emergency.
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