Facial injuries (also known as maxillofacial injuries) are injuries to the face, jawbone or mouth. They include skin lacerations/bruises, burns, obstruction to the nasal cavity or sinuses, damage to orbital sockets, missing teeth and fractures to the jawbone. Sports and automobile accidents, falls and physical violence are among the most frequent causes of facial injuries.
Bone fractures are one of the most common types of facial trauma. Fractures may involve the lower and upper jaws, palate, cheekbones, eye sockets or any combination of these bones. These fractures can affect the ability to see, breathe, speak and swallow.
Each year, there are more than three million cases of facial trauma admitted to emergency rooms in the United States. Not all facial injuries are extensive, but they should not be taken lightly. For those who participate in sports, oral and maxillofacial surgeons often recommend protective gear.
Treating Facial Injuries
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specially trained to treat injuries to the face, jaws, mouth and teeth. Treatment of this kind of trauma may include airway and bleeding control, as well as infection prevention. It may also be necessary to repair bone fractures, lacerations or soft tissue injuries.
When the fractures are complex, extensive surgery and reconstruction may be needed. If complex reconstructive surgery is performed on the jaw, the jaws may be wired shut and a nutritional liquid diet may be recommended.
Our physicians at Houston Methodist specialize in treating maxillofacial trauma at the following convenient locations