Common Causes of Facial Trauma

Facial trauma affects a significant number of people in the United States every year.

Facial Trauma Causes

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, 3 million people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries to the face annually. In addition, the American Association of Endodontists estimates that 5 million teeth are knocked out each year.

Oral and maxillofacial injuries must be treated promptly and with the utmost care, or else long-term complications can affect your quality of life and overall health.

Injuries to Children vs. Adults

Children and adults both suffer oral and maxillofacial injuries, but typically children more often participate in activities that increase their chances of harm. Falling is the most common cause of facial injuries in children under 3 years old. Children who play contact sports are more likely to suffer a knocked-out tooth. Car accidents also are a leading cause facial of trauma in children.

Adults suffer facial injuries for a variety of reasons as well, including violence, car accidents, falls and work-related injuries. Sports-related injuries are less common in adults than children.

Facial Injuries Are Serious

Facial trauma is a term that encompasses a wide range of injuries, and each is serious in its own way. Soft tissue injuries, which include cuts to the face or gum tissues, are the least serious. But a broken or fractured jaw, cheekbone or nose could lead to nerve damage. It also could affect your ability to speak or breathe. Chewing and swallowing could become painful, maybe even impossible.

Dental injuries also fall into the category of facial trauma that must be dealt with immediately. When a tooth is knocked out, the speed of the treatment response usually dictates whether the tooth can be saved. Dental restoration is necessary in order to prevent further oral health complications like a misaligned bite or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Preventing Facial Trauma

Both adults and children can take many steps that will reduce the risk of facial injuries. For parents: Make sure your children wear a mouthguard whenever they play sports. Depending on the specific sport, helmets, face guards and protective eyewear should be used as well. Never let your children even practice without their safety gear. When riding bikes, scooters or skateboards, keep your children protected from facial trauma.

Both adults and children always should wear seat belts the proper way. Children should be seated in the appropriate child seat based on their weight and height.

Take Action

When you or your child suffers a facial injury, do you know who you would call? For dental injuries especially, it is vital to have an oral surgeon or dentist you trust who is available for emergencies.

Contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, and get more advice on recovering from facial trauma as well as tips to prevent serious injury.