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

Tuesday, February 12, 2019



Have you ever noticed that one of our initial responses to a potential trauma is the instant attempt to protect our face and head?

When somebody throws a punch or if we get involved in an automobile collision, our arms and hands fly to our face in order to make an effort to protect ourselves from any severe damage. Most of the time, we don't even consider the action of covering up our face--we just do this instantly.
Maxillofacial trauma is injuries that are at risk for being quickly disregarded, and this carelessness can cause severe difficulties and irritation later on if they are not managed in a prompt manner. This type of face trauma can cause soft tissue trauma, nasal, mandibular, and orbital fractures, and other issues. Any type of harm that is endured in the maxillofacial area needs specialized treatment and attention simply because a lot of our important sensory systems and critical structures are established in the head, neck, and face.
Mandibular fractures, also referred to as jaw fractures, are the second most prevalent skeletal facial injuries following nasal fractures. Additionally, it’s estimated that mandibular fractures create as high as 70% of maxillofacial injuries. This is because of the way our jaws normally stick out and because the mandible has much less support from the cranium than other locations of the face. The mandibular is a movable U-shaped bone that connects on both sides of the jaw. The range of motion of this bone makes it possible for us to move our jaw and it also houses our teeth. Some of the most common reasons for mandible fractures consist of:
▪ Traffic Collisions
▪ Falls
▪ Physical Fights
▪ Sports
Signs of a Fracture
Commonly, the mandible will crack in two locations, at the area of the direct collision along within the place directly opposite of the first location. All damage sustained to the mandible bone should be examined by medical professionals within 24 hours of the event. The main indicators of mandibular fractures include soreness, swelling, inflammation, and loss of functionality specifically breathing, talking, and eating. Additionally, bruising and numbness of the face and neck may accompany these fractures. If a patient suspects that they have injured the jaw, it is crucial to find medical attention quickly. A broken jaw can potentially obstruct the air passage, cutting off the capability to breathe.
Injury to the Teeth
Given that the jaw bone houses all of our teeth, dental damage is a concern when dealing with these kinds of injuries. Malocclusion is the failure to appropriately line up the teeth because of trauma. It can develop in any sort of combination of areas including the mandibular arch, maxillary arch, and the anterior and posterior sections. Other traits to pay attention for can be missing teeth, tooth and root cracks, and damaged teeth. Treatment options consist of soft tissue maintenance, corrective dentistry, orthodontics, temporomandibular joint surgery, and other remedies depending on the type and intensity of the trauma.
Oral Experts
After a doctor has identified the complication, they will often send the patient to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for further therapies. Basically, oral and maxillofacial doctors specialize in the identification and care of injuries concerning the face territory. These types of professionals have been educated in both medical and dental professions to ensure that they are skilled in addressing a wide range of regular oral surgical conditions including:
▪ Salivary Gland Issues
▪ Oral Cancer
▪ Face Harm
▪ Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Treatment and Healing
Orthognathic procedures, also called corrective jaw surgery, is performed by the OMS--the oral and maxillofacial surgeon--after they have decided that this procedure is ideal for the amount of injury that the patient is experiencing. When the jaw has been repositioned or reshaped, the operating surgeon will utilize assorted techniques to hold the mandible in the new position while it heals. Medical items such as wires, screws, surgical plates, and rubber bands will be attached in the jaw during the procedure. Maxillofacial traumas and the resulting dental damage require more than one doctor to take care of the patient through treatment and recovery. As an example, endodontists are able to carry out root canal surgery and corrective dentists can address broken and cracked teeth.
For people who require medical operations to correct their problems, the healing process can last as long as 6 weeks. A soft food meal plan is vital during the course of this period given that harder food items can cause the medical plates to crack. Furthermore, an excellent oral health regimen during the course of the first couple of weeks after surgery will help the surgery site to withstand any kind of disease. As reported by the King's College Hospital, the patient should cleanse their mouth out with warm salt water or mouthwash a minimum of 3 times a day for a week immediately after the surgical operation. A little soft-bristled toothbrush, like a kid's, is suitable to maintain the teeth around the surgery site. The King's College Hospital also advises that patients don't smoke during the recovery process since it may increase the threat of infection.
Maxillofacial trauma can be triggered by a range of occurrences. It is crucial for the patient to seek medical attention immediately if they think that they might have suffered damage to the face location, or if they experience any one of the complications that have been specified above.
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