Facial Trauma

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You’re probably felt that cringe coming on before – you know, the one that comes from seeing someone get smacked in the face with a ball. But what if that person is your child – or for that matter, you? Here’s what you can do in the event of an injury to the face.

Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises Most soft tissue injuries – injuries that occur to the muscles, skin, and connective tissues – will heal with time. However, in some cases, cuts and scrapes on the face may require aesthetic attention during treatment in order to avoid disfigurement. For larger, deeper wounds, consult with a physician who can advise you on ways to minimize scarring. In the case of a contusion (serious bruise), be sure to use the P.R.I.C.E. formula: protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation.

Injuries to the Teeth

If a tooth has been chipped or cracked, see a dentist as soon as possible to receive a filling or crown.

If a tooth is knocked out, immediately place it in salt water or milk and see a dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. The sooner a tooth is reinserted, the better.

Fractures Any type of facial fracture is a serious matter and will require immediate attention from an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. In the event of serious trauma, call 911 immediately. Symptoms of fractures include: 

Broken nose: pain, swelling, crooked or bent appearance, nosebleed, runny nose 

Broken or dislocated jaw: severe pain, swelling, lump or abnormal appearance, bleeding from the mouth, difficulty opening the mouth, inability to bring teeth together, bruising under the tongue, numbness in the chin or lower lip

Broken cheekbone: flatness of the cheek, swelling, tenderness, visual complaints, pain with jaw movement, blood in the side of the eye on the affected side

Broken eye socket: sunken eye, black eye, redness and areas of bleeding on the white of the eye and inner lining of eyelids, double vision, difficulty looking in a certain direction, swelling and deformity