What Is Facial Trauma?
Trauma to the maxillofacial region, or the face and jaws, can significantly impact the long-term health and well-being of patients. The bones and tissues of these areas provide protection for the cranium and involve a variety of crucial functions necessary for daily life, such as sight, smell, breathing, eating, and speech. Traumatic injuries can severely affect these functions as well as producing substantial consequences for facial appearance that can lead to permanent disfigurement. Serious facial trauma ultimately results in diminished quality of life without prompt diagnosis and treatment from an experienced oral surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama.
How Facial Trauma Occurs
Facial trauma typically occurs due to a sudden, forceful blow directly to the face and jaws, most often from road traffic accidents—followed by falls from a height, work-related injuries, sports injuries and violent assaults. Maxillofacial injuries involve the mandible (lower jaw), maxilla (upper jaw) zygomatic bone (cheekbone), eye sockets and the forehead. Fractures can occur anywhere on the face or jaws. These injuries can lead to serious or life-threatening conditions, such as hemorrhaging, airway obstruction, injuries to the eyes, shock, or brain injury.
Common Types of Facial Trauma
The most common forms of facial trauma include:
- Frontal bone (forehead) fractures
- Ocular trauma and orbital (eye socket) fractures
- Cheekbone fractures
- Nose fractures
- Nasal cavity damage or sinus obstruction
- Fractures to the upper or lower jaw
- Jaw dislocation
- Palate injuries
- Dental injuries, such as chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth
- Soft tissue injuries to the skin and gums, including scrapes, burns, contusions, lacerations, puncture wounds, and tissue loss
- Damage to the muscles in the face responsible for chewing, talking, and swallowing
- Injuries to the facial nerves, cranial nerves, salivary glands, or salivary ducts
Symptoms of Facial Trauma
The following symptoms suggest facial trauma and require immediate medical attention:
- Pain, numbness, or tingling in areas of the face
- Facial swelling
- Misshapen or uneven appearance
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or talking
- Vision problems
- Soft tissue damage to the face
- Rashes or skin infections
- Bruising or discoloration beneath your eyes, behind your ears, or under your tongue
- Increased distance between your eyes, indicating eye socket damage
How Does Facial Trauma Surgery Work?
An oral surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama can diagnose and treat a broad range of traumatic facial injuries.. For a surgeon to properly manage each patient’s unique needs, they must have extensive experience in emergency care, acute medical treatment, surgical reconstruction, and long-term rehabilitation. They begin by performing a comprehensive physical exam that utilizes X-rays or computerized tomography (C.T.) scans to investigate the full extent of the damage and inform the direction of the treatment plan. Based on the findings of this exam, the oral surgeon will coordinate and perform surgical procedures to fix the damage, typically accompanied by prescription medications to manage your symptoms and prevent infection of the affected areas.
Treatment depends on the specific location and severity of your injuries, and can involve consulting with other healthcare specialists to navigate additional medical problems. Because facial trauma severely impacts the face’s appearance, it can result in long-term issues with self-esteem that ripple throughout every aspect of the patient’s personal and professional life. The amount of emotional damage associated with these injuries means that a caring and compassionate bedside manner is necessary for your oral surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama. They must thoroughly explain treatment options to patients and ensure they understand how oral and maxillofacial surgery can restore crucial functions and appearance.
What Can Facial Trauma Surgery Do for You?
Treatment for facial trauma in Birmingham, Alabama typically requires hospitalization, especially in cases of severe injury. Fractures of the face are treated similar to orthognathic surgery. Most of the surgery can be accomplished through the mouth to avoid facial scars.. However, serious lacerations may require reconstructive surgical procedures to rebuild the face. Every injury is unique to the individual and we take great care in repairing your injury back to as normal as possible.
Contact Us Today for Facial Trauma Treatment
If you are experiencing symptoms of facial trauma, you must seek medical attention right away from an oral surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama. At Buck and Phillips Oral Surgery, our team of expert oral surgeons offers the highest quality patient care, treating all clients with honesty, compassion, and personalized service. We know how significantly facial trauma can impact your life, and we provide a broad spectrum of oral and maxillofacial surgery options to treat your unique needs. We also recognize that many patients experience anxiety, so we provide clear communication and a dedication to doing everything we can to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Call us or contact us online today.