Facial trauma covers a spectrum of injuries that impact the way that the human face functions. Severity can range from mild scrapes and bruises to life-altering disfigurations. It’s important to recognize the far-reaching effects of facial injuries and the complications they cause to patients’ lives. That helps individuals find an oral surgeon in Melbourne, FL capable of providing the right care.

What Causes Facial Trauma?

There are many ways that individuals can end up experiencing facial injuries. Gaining a better understanding of the causes is essential to timely intervention and locating the proper resources to help patients. Below is an overview of some of the most common factors that lead to issues.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Direct impact is one of the most common ways for individuals to experience trauma from motor vehicles. An occupant’s face may collide with a part of a vehicle’s interior, like the steering wheel or side window. The force from that impact can lead to injuries like soft tissue damage, fractures, and lacerations to the mouth and jaw.

Sports-Related Injuries

While playing sports offers many physical and mental health benefits, there are risks involved, including the potential for facial injury. They’re typically caused by accidental collisions with other players, contacting equipment, or being hit with a ball or other object at high speed. Wearing protective gear like helmets, mouthguards, and face shields can reduce the severity of potential trauma to the mouth.

Physical Violence and Assault

Those who become the victim of a violent physical assault can end up with facial injuries. Facial trauma can arise from being punched, kicked, or hit with an object like a bat. People can also incur facial injuries to the mouth or jaw if they are thrown to the ground, down a flight of stairs, or onto a table or counter.

Occupational Injuries

Workers can incur impact injuries if they get struck by machinery, fall from a height, or end up slipping and falling. Occupations involving tools and equipment that generate projectiles or other debris put individuals at greater risk.

Those who work with hazardous materials like chemicals and acids can risk incurring chemical burns on their face. Injuries can also occur because of an explosion due to mixing incompatible materials. That can lead to tissue damage and facial scarring. Other occupational hazards that can lead to facial trauma include:

  • Rollovers or collisions from operating vehicles
  • Burns and lacerations caused by working with electricity
  • Facial injuries from exposure to infectious agents in healthcare facilities

What Determines the Severity of Facial Trauma?

The extent of facial trauma that people deal with can range from mild to severe. There can be long-term consequences if a person doesn’t receive proper care and treatment for their injuries. Factors that affect the severity include:

  • Injury type — The kind of injury incurred can impact the severity. Examples include soft tissue lacerations, fractures, or dislocations. A fracture of the eye socket or jaw can be severe, while a cut above the eye can be more easily managed.
  • Injury location — Injuries around vital structures like the nose, eyes, or ears can lead to functional impairments without the proper treatment.
  • Extent of facial trauma — Damage to nerves, blood vessels, and bones plays a role in determining the severity of an injury.
  • Age and health — Older patients can have more fragile bones, making them more prone to fractures from a facial injury. People with pre-existing medical conditions can have more difficulty recovering from facial trauma.

How Do You Treat Facial Trauma?

Orthodontic treatment for facial trauma starts with a complete evaluation of the patient. It may be necessary to consult with other specialists, like a maxillofacial surgeon. After determining the extent of the facial treatments, the orthodontist will develop a customized treatment plan that fits the patient’s needs. Options can include:

  • Orthognathic surgeryCorrective jaw surgery to treat fractures, asymmetry, or bite problems caused by facial trauma.
  • Orthodontics — Braces and other orthodontic appliances can realign teeth and improve facial aesthetics.  

Get Treatment for Facial Trauma

Effective orthodontic treatment goes a long way toward helping people recover from facial trauma. Contact Sedaros Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implants today for a consultation.