Nearly 3 million U.S. citizens visit the emergency rooms annually due to numerous facial traumas. In addition to this number, there are more than 5 million cases of knocked-out teeth every year. These statistics show the bitter truth about facial traumas and injuries being highly common. These traumas typically occur due to car accidents and sports. Injuries usually vary from cuts and bruises to more severe things that require surgery.
Keep on reading to discover the four most common facial traumas and how to treat them.
1. Knocked-out teeth
More than 5 million injuries in America result in teeth being knocked out annually. If one of your teeth has been knocked out, act quickly and put it back into the socket or soak it in milk to preserve its root from drying out. You can also place it between your cheek and gum.
Time is a key factor in the survival of your tooth. Hence, make sure to visit a dental specialist within the first hour after an injury. If you put the tooth back in, the dentist will check its position and move it if necessary. If you soak your tooth in milk, the specialist will clean it and put it back in. Next, your tooth will be fixed to the neighboring teeth for two weeks.
2. Broken nose
A nasal fracture is another common facial injury. This type of injury typically occurs during car crashes, contact sports, falls, and physical fights. If, after an accident, your nose starts to bleed, hurt, become swollen, and if bruising appears around your eyes, then it’s likely that you have a broken nose. Other nasal fracture symptoms include blocked nasal passages and discharge of mucus from your nose.
Depending on your symptoms, you may require urgent medical treatment, or you can perform the first aid at home and then visit a doctor. If you have a minor fracture that hasn’t damaged the structure of your nose, your doctor may suggest simple self-care including OTC pain relievers and cold compression therapy. But, if your nose has become crooked or misshapen, you may require a broken nose surgery.
3. Broken jaw
The jaw is the 10th most commonly broken bone in the body. The complexity of trauma may vary, but typically only one side of the jaw gets injured. A fractured jaw usually causes pain and leads to malocclusion, speech problems, and loss of sensation in your chin and lower lip. If your broken jaw causes breathing problems due to loss of support to the tongue, contact a doctor ASAP.
Minor jaw fractures may be treated by bondage and anti-inflammatory medications. In case of a severe break, your doctor may wire your lower and upper teeth together to keep your jaw closed during recovery. Unstable fractures typically require surgery to tighten the ligaments and support your jaw.
4. Broken cheekbone
Fractured cheekbones are usually caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, and contact sports. If your cheekbone becomes broken, you most likely experience pain, bruising, and swelling in the affected area. A fractured cheekbone may also lead to a bloodshot eye, blurred vision, and loss of sensation in the cheek.
You may not require surgery if your cheekbone fracture is stable and doesn’t affect the neighboring structures. However, if your cheek becomes misshapen or restricts your eye movement, surgery is necessary. During surgery, your damaged cheekbone will be repositioned and metal plates or screws may be inserted into the bone to keep it in place. Post-operational recovery typically includes maintaining proper dental hygiene, taking prescribed medications, eating soft foods, and avoiding physical activity for 3 to 4 months.