How Important Is It To See A Doctor If I Hurt My Jaw?

Have you ever noticed that one of our initial responses to a potential injury is the immediate attempt to guard our head and face?

When someone throws a punch or if we get into an automotive accident, our arms and hands fly up to our face so as to try to shield ourselves from any severe damage. Much of the time, we fail to even contemplate the action of covering up our face–we just do this immediately.

Maxillofacial trauma is injuries that are at danger for being easily disregarded, and this error can bring about serious issues and inconvenience later on if they are not handled in a prompt manner. This sort of facial damage can result in soft tissue injury, mandibular fractures, orbital and nasal fractures, as well as other concerns. Any harm that is endured to the maxillofacial location requires specialized treatment and attention simply because so many of our significant sensory systems and critical structures are established in the neck, head, and face.

Mandibular fractures, also known as jaw fractures, are the second most common skeletal facial injury after nasal fractures. Additionally, it’s estimated that mandibular fractures comprise as much as 70% of maxillofacial accidents. This is because of the way our jaws normally stick out and since the jaw has less support from the cranium than other locations of the face. The mandibular is a mobile U-shaped bone that connects on both sides of the mandible. The mobility of this bone enables us to move our jaw and it also houses our teeth. Some of the most regular causes of mandible fractures are:

▪ Automotive Collisions
▪ Falls
▪ Physical Fights
▪ Physical Activities

Warning Signs of a Bone Fracture

Commonly, the mandible will crack in two locations, at the area of the direct impact along with the area directly opposite of the initial site. All trauma sustained to the mandible bone ought to be checked out by a doctor within 24 hours of the event. The main symptoms of mandibular fractures include swelling, redness, pain, and loss of function such as eating, talking, and breathing. Additionally, bruising and tingling of the face and neck may follow these fractures. If a patient believes that they have injured the mandible, it is vital to get medical attention as soon as possible. A broken mandible may potentially obstruct the airway, cutting off the capability to breathe.

Injury to the Teeth

Considering that the jaw bone holds all of our teeth, dental damage is a concern when dealing with these kinds of traumas. Malocclusion is the incapability to properly align the teeth because of trauma. It can occur in just about any combination of areas including the mandibular and maxillary arch, and the anterior and posterior sections. Different aspects to pay close attention to include missing teeth, root and tooth fractures, as well as cracked teeth. Treatment plans incorporate corrective dentistry, orthodontics, temporomandibular joint surgery, soft tissue maintenance, and more treatments depending upon the sort and seriousness of the problem.

Dental Experts

When a doctor has diagnosed the issue, they will often refer the patient to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for further therapies. Basically, oral and maxillofacial surgeons focus on the medical diagnosis and care of issues involving the facial location. These specialists have been trained in both medical and dental professions so that they are capable of dealing with a wide range of frequent oral surgical issues such as:

▪ Salivary Gland Disease
▪ Oral Cancer
▪ Face Harm
▪ Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Remedies and Restoration

Orthognathic surgery, also referred to as corrective jaw surgery, is handled by the OMS–the oral and maxillofacial surgeon–as soon as they have determined that this procedure is suitable for the degree of damage that the patient is experiencing. When the jaw has been rearranged or restored, the doctor will use assorted methods to keep the jaw in the new position while it recovers. Medical tools like wires, screws, surgical plates, and rubber bands will be installed in the mandible at the time of surgery. Maxillofacial traumas and the resulting dental damage call for more than one physician to take care of the patient during therapy and recovery. For instance, endodontists are able to conduct root canal procedures and corrective dentists can care for broken and chipped teeth.

For patients who require surgery to cure their damages, the recuperation process can last up to six weeks. A soft food diet regimen is essential throughout this period since tougher types of foods can cause the medical plates to get damaged. Also, a good oral health routine during the course of the first couple of weeks immediately after the operation will enable the surgery site to withstand any form of disease. According to the King’s College Hospital, the patient ought to wash their mouth out with warm salt water or mouthwash a minimum of three times a day for a week immediately following surgery. A small soft-bristled toothbrush, like a child’s, is suitable to brush the teeth close to the stitches. The King’s College Hospital additionally advises that patients don’t smoke at the time of the recovery process since it might enhance the possibility of infection.

Maxillofacial injury could be caused by a variety of experiences. It is crucial for the patient to get medical attention as soon as possible if they suspect that they might have suffered a wound to the face region, or if they experience any of the conditions that have been specified in this article.

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