Accidents happen. Whether you’re an athlete, in an automobile collision, or slip and fall, you may experience facial trauma, including fractures. Fortunately, if you have the bad luck to suffer an oral or facial fracture, the expert surgeons at Pinole Oral Surgery, in Pinole, California, have extensive training and experience in performing oral and maxillofacial surgery to repair and set facial fractures. Call or schedule a consultation online today.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON CAUSES OF ORAL AND FACIAL FRACTURES?
Around 3 million Americans are treated for facial trauma each year. Jaw fractures are the second most common type of facial fractures, second only to broken noses. Sports injuries and automobile collisions are the most common causes of oral or facial fractures.
Facial and dental injuries are especially common if you play a contact sport like football or hockey, or if you participate in cheerleading or gymnastics. Wearing a mouthguard, helmet, mask, or other appropriate protective gear can limit your risk of maxillofacial fractures.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A MAXILLOFACIAL FRACTURE?
Fractures are usually extremely painful. You may also experience:
- Facial swelling
- Trouble breathing
- Pain when chewing
- Jaw stiffness
- Facial numbness
- Loose teeth
Your facial features may also become distorted, for example, your lips might not line up, or your teeth might not come together correctly.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I’VE BROKEN MY JAW OR ANOTHER BONE IN MY FACE?
It is very dangerous to leave a facial injury to heal on its own. The bones that make up the facial skeleton provide support for the nerves responsible for sight, taste, and smell. If the bones are left to heal on their own it can lead to a loss of sensation of these senses as well as the sense of touch. The face is also very close to the spinal cord which could present itself with even greater danger.
If you think you’ve broken your jaw or another bone in your face, call Pinole Oral Surgery and request emergency care. If you’ve been in a severe accident with extensive injuries, go to your nearest emergency room.
HOW ARE ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL FRACTURES TREATED?
The surgeons at Pinole Oral Surgery perform a variety of customized surgeries to repair and set maxillofacial fractures. For example, if you have a broken jaw, your surgeon moves your bones back into the correct position and secures them in place with wires or by wrapping a bandage around your chin and head to immobilize your jaw while your bones knit. The severity of your injury determines the details of your surgery.
After your surgery, you will need to consume liquids or soft foods as you won’t be able to chew. Your surgeon provides advice on how to maintain a healthy diet and get sufficient calories while you recover. They also offer information on pain management and may provide a prescription for pain medicine.
If you’re looking for an expert surgeon to repair a maxillofacial fracture, call Pinole Oral Surgery or make an appointment online today.
How long will a facial fracture take to heal?
A facial fracture will likely leave your face swollen and bruised. You can expect the swelling to continue for one or two weeks and the bruising will subside shortly after. The internal repairing of the bone will take a little longer. For the bones to return to their full strength may take as long as 6 to 8 weeks.
How long will it take for sensation to return after a facial injury?
You may have to wait many weeks or even months for the sensation to return to your face after a facial injury. In some cases, the return of sensation can be only partial or possibly there will be no recovery. The facial skeleton is full of channels that support the nerves that connect to the facial tissue. These nerves are responsible for carrying messages to the brain that signal sensations such as touch, heat and pain. Facial injuries cause swelling to the bones and this can disrupt the signals that travel through these nerves.