Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Facial Injuries

Facial Injuries

Facial injuries (maxillofacial injuries) are injuries to the face, jawbone or mouth, which may include skin lacerations, obstruction to the naval cavity or sinuses, damage to orbital sockets, fractures to the jawbone and missing teeth. The most common causes of facial injuries include sports, accidents, penetrating injuries and violence.

One of the most common types of facial injuries includes broken bones. Fractures may involve the lower and upper jaws, palate, cheekbones, eye sockets or any combination of these bones, which may affect the ability to see, breathe, speak and swallow.

Not all facial injuries are extensive; however, they should not be taken lightly. For those who participate in athletics, oral and maxillofacial surgeons often recommend that patients wear the appropriate mask, helmet or protective mouth guard.

Treatments for Facial Injuries

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specially trained at treating and restoring injuries to the face, jaws, mouth and teeth.

Treatments for facial injuries may include:

  • Airway control
  • Bleeding control
  • Reduction of swelling
  • Prevention of infection
  • Repair of bone fractures
  • Repair of lacerations or soft tissue injury
  • Reconstruction

When the fractures are complex, extensive surgery may be needed. Multiple incisions may be required to expose the bones to allow for a combination of plating and wiring.

After surgery and during the healing period, the jaws may be wired shut and a nutritional liquid diet may be recommended.

Did You Know?

  • Each year, there are more than 3 million cases of facial trauma admitted to emergency rooms in the United States.
  • Almost everyone has experienced maxillofacial injuries or knows someone who has.