Facial trauma and dental damage are no laughing matter. Unfortunately, it is easy for anyone to receive an unexpected blow that leaves them with fractured bones in the face or damaged teeth. Even if you do not believe your injury is serious, it is important that you be evaluated by a medical professional. Some damage to your face or teeth may not be immediately visible, but could cause a host of problems later on.
Trauma is defined as any injury sustained due to impact from an outside object. This can be as simple as running into a wall or as serious as a car accident. The first step in recognition and treatment of facial trauma and dental damage is to be aware of the potential causes.
Accidents are one of the primary causes of trauma to the face and teeth. Even if it does not seem serious at the time, a motor vehicle accident in which the face is propelled into the steering wheel or dashboard, or a trip and fall accident that results in the face striking a counter, floor, or other hard surface can result in damage to the bones of the face and the teeth.
Injuries from contact sports, such as basketball and volleyball are a leading cause of facial trauma and dental damage. Something as common as a flying elbow in a basketball game, or an accidental spike to the face during a volleyball match may seem like it comes with the territory. However, it is good to keep in mind that not all serious injuries are immediately visible. If you take a blow to the face during a match, be sure to have a specialist in dental and facial damage examine you, to ensure that you do not have any hidden serious damage.
Violence caused by fists and blunt objects can be a major cause of facial trauma and dental damage. If you participate in boxing, martial arts, or other activities in which you experience blows to the face, be sure to have your injuries thoroughly assessed by a medical doctor who specializes in facial and dental trauma, to rule out any potential fractures or damage to your teeth.
No matter the cause, any blow to the face or teeth can cause damage to the bones, soft tissues, and nerves. Some damage may be visible, but not all damage to the face and teeth is readily apparent.
It may seem logical that facial trauma would be easily recognizable from the appearance of bruises; however, discoloration does not always provide an accurate assessment of all damage that may have occurred. Fractures to the bones of the jaw, nose, cheekbones, and eye sockets may be overlooked in treatment of superficial bruising around the area. Conversely, a bone fracture may show little or no bruising, disguising more serious damage underneath. Be sure to have a professional who specializes in facial trauma do a full examination of the affected area any time there is blunt trauma to the face. In addition, tests for nerve damage and recovery are crucial throughout the entire healing process, as permanent nerve damage may not be immediately recognizable.
If you have received a blow to the mouth, your teeth may be chipped or broken. Sometimes, although there may be no visible damage to the teeth, they have been forced out of alignment, which can cause problems with chewing and swallowing, headaches, and even TMJ. To avoid these complications, be sure to have your mouth and teeth examined by an expert in dental trauma after any blow to the mouth, even if it does not seem serious.
Facial trauma and dental damage can be prevented in sports and martial arts by using appropriate safety equipment, such as mouth guards, face guards, face shields, and helmets. Prompt medical attention to any damage caused by trauma to the face or teeth will help to prevent complications and shorten the healing and recovery time.
Dr. Letelier of The Center For Oral Surgery of Las Vegas Specializes in oral surgery and dental implants. For more information on how to identify and treat facial trauma and dental damage, contact The Center For Oral Surgery Of Las Vegas today!