Common Causes of Facial Trauma and Dental Damage


Dental Damage

Every year, about 3 million Americans are treated for facial trauma, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

All components of the face can be damaged after suffering an injury. Whether that injury is sustained while playing contact sports or in a workplace accident, these are some of the most common causes of facial trauma and dental damage.

Types of Facial Trauma

Soft Tissue Trauma

Soft tissue in the face can be severely damaged when the muscles or tendons are overstretched. These injuries also include cuts to the face or gums. Bruising and swelling in the face are also very common signs of facial injury that aren’t necessarily the side effects of a far more serious trauma.

Bone Injuries

Bone injuries are very common following a significant blow to the face, and can include:

  • Fractured jaw

  • Broken nose

  • Fractured cheekbones

  • Maxillary fractures

  • Zygomatic fracture

A dislocated jaw is also considered a bone injury. This occurs when the lower jawbone (mandible) is pulled apart from one or both connecting (temporomandibular) joints at the base of the skull. Even if the jaw is positioned back into place, the initial dislocation can cause problems down the road.

Do you think your jaw might be dislocated or fractured?

Physical Assaults and Altercations

Blows to the face or mouth during a physical altercation can result in major injuries and substantial damage to your teeth and gums. The severity of the injury may largely depend on the amount of power someone puts behind a punch, kick or other attack.

Occupational Injuries

Some professions pose more danger to employees than others, especially those in industrial or construction fields. In cases like these, heavy building materials or proximity to industrial equipment pose an imminent threat to workers. This is especially true if workers neglect or aren’t required to wear protective gear.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents or motor vehicle collisions can cause severe facial injuries depending on the nature of the accident. Facial fractures and other injuries can be caused by the:

  • Steering wheel

  • Dashboard

  • Airbag

  • Windshield

  • Side window

  • Car seats

  • Shattered glass

These injuries vary widely from minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones and teeth or other serious dental injuries.

Contact and Combat Sports

It should come as no surprise that athletes who play contact or combat sports are at an increased risk of suffering a traumatic injury, solely because of the nature of these activities.

That being said, even non-contact sports can be a treacherous opportunity to suffer facial trauma. A slip on the basketball court or inadvertent elbow to the face can easily knock out a few teeth, bruise the eyes and cheeks or even break the jaw or cheek bones.

Slips and Falls

Something as simple as slipping on a smooth surface can lead to facial trauma. While your hands will undoubtedly shoot out to help break your fall, it may not be enough to prevent major harm and injury.

When to Seek Medical Care

Those who suffer facial trauma after an injury should seek medical attention immediately.

Preventing Facial Trauma

In some cases, facial trauma can’t be avoided. Accidents can happen to anyone. There are a few things you can do, however, to prevent unnecessary trauma.

Playing Sports

  • Use a mouthguard

  • Wear protective gear

On the Job

  • Don safety goggles

  • Wear required safety gear

Cosmetic and Corrective Oral Surgery in Louisville, KY

If you’ve recently experienced facial trauma, you may be concerned with the lasting impacts on your facial structure and appearance.

The experienced oral surgeons at Greater Louisville Oral & Maxillofacial specialize in replacing missing teeth and helping patients restore their youthful appearance. We offer a wide range of procedures from tooth extractions to jaw reconstruction.

Schedule your consultation online or by calling (502) 459-8012 today!

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