What is Maxillofacial Trauma?

Have you ever noticed that one of our initial reactions to a possible trauma is the immediate effort to protect our face and head?

When someone throws a punch or if we get into an automotive accident, our arms and hands fly up to our face to make an effort to protect ourselves from any serious damage. Much of the time, we do not even consider the response of covering our face–we just do this instantly.

Maxillofacial trauma is injuries that are a threat for being quickly neglected, and this carelessness can cause harmful problems and inconvenience later on if they are not addressed in a prompt manner. This form of facial trauma can lead to soft tissue damage, nasal, mandibular, and orbital fractures, and other issues. Any harm that is sustained to the maxillofacial area needs specialized treatment and observation because many of our essential sensory systems and fundamental structures are established in the neck, face, and head.

Mandibular fractures, also known as jaw fractures, are the second most frequent skeletal facial injury only after nasal fractures. Furthermore, it is estimated that mandibular fractures represent as high as 70% of maxillofacial injuries. This is because of the way our jaws naturally protrude and since the chin has a lot less support from the cranium than other areas of the face. The mandibular is a mobile U-shaped bone that connects on either side of the mandible. The range of motion of this bone enables us to move our jaw and it also houses our teeth. Some of the most frequent sources of jaw fractures consist of:

▪ Automotive Accidents
▪ Falls
▪ Physical Assault
▪ Physical Activities

Warnings of a Fracture

Commonly, the jaw will crack in two regions: at the site of the direct collision and also in the place directly opposite of the original area. Any kind of injury sustained to the mandible bone ought to be seen by a doctor within 24 hours of the accident. The key symptoms of mandibular fractures involve redness, ache, swelling, and loss of functionality specifically breathing, talking, and chewing. Also, bruising and tingling of the neck and face might come with these bone fractures. If a patient believes that they have injured the jaw, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. A broken jaw may potentially obstruct the respiratory tract, cutting off the capability to breathe.

Trauma to the Teeth

Considering that the jaw bone holds all of our teeth, tooth injury is an issue when taking care of these kinds of wounds. Malocclusion is the failure to correctly line up the teeth due to trauma. It can manifest in just about any combination of places including the mandibular and maxillary arch, and the anterior and posterior sections. Additional things to pay close attention to include tooth and root fractures, and cracked or missing teeth. Treatment techniques consist of corrective dentistry, orthodontics, soft tissue repair, temporomandibular joint operations, and additional procedures depending on the type and severity of the injury.

Oral Specialists

When a medical professional has identified the issue, they will typically refer the patient to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for further care. Basically, oral and maxillofacial surgeons provide services for the medical diagnosis and treatment of injuries involving the facial location. These specialists have been trained in both medical and dental areas to make sure that they are capable of
addressing a variety of common oral surgical conditions such as:

▪ Salivary Gland Issues
▪ Oral Cancer
▪ Face Harm
▪ Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Remedies and Recovery

Orthognathic surgery, also called corrective jaw surgery, is executed by the OMS–the oral and maxillofacial surgeon–when they have established that this method is suitable for the degree of trauma that the patient is experiencing. When the mandible has been repositioned or reshaped, the operating surgeon will choose various methods to secure the mandible in the new position while it recovers. Medical gadgets like rubber bands, screws, wires, and surgical plates will be set up in the jaw during the operation. Maxillofacial damages and the resulting oral harm call for more than one medical professional to help the patient in therapy and recovery. As an example, endodontists can carry out root canal procedures and restorative dentists can address broken and cracked teeth.

For those who need surgery to correct their damages, the recuperation procedure can take up to six weeks. A soft food diet is vital during the course of this period since tougher types of foods can lead the medical plates to crack. Furthermore, a great oral health routine at the time of the first few weeks immediately after the operation will let the surgery site to fight any type of disease. As stated by the King’s College Hospital, the patient needs to cleanse their mouth out with warm salt water or mouthwash approximately 3 times a day for a week promptly following surgical operation. A small soft-bristled toothbrush, similar to a kid’s, is suitable to maintain the teeth near the stitches. The King’s College Hospital also recommends that patients do not smoke at the time of the recovery process as it might enhance the likelihood of infection.

A maxillofacial injury may be triggered by a variety of experiences. It is essential for the patient to seek medical attention immediately if they suspect that they might just have suffered an affliction to the face region, or if they experience any of the problems that have been listed above.

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