Oral Surgeons Explain How to Manage a Facial Injury
If you suffer a facial injury, an oral surgeon is often the medical professional of choice to provide emergency treatment.
In the meantime, you or someone nearby may need to provide first aid. By taking the proper steps to address injuries to the mouth and face, you can potentially help improve the outcome of your medical treatment.
Cut Inside the Mouth
A facial injury to the cheeks, lips, gums or tongue can cause excessive bleeding in the mouth. To help stop the bleeding, rinse with salt water and apply some gauze. Don’t have gauze? Use a dampened tea bag or clean cloth. Keep pressure on the wound, apply ice and contact your oral surgeon immediately — even if the injury seems minor.
Soft tissue facial injuries may require stitches or further treatment to speed up healing and prevent infection.
For a chipped tooth, first aid involves gently cleaning the injured area and applying ice to keep the swelling down. Schedule an oral surgeon facial injury consultation right away, and make sure to bring the broken tooth piece along, if you have it, as reattachment may be possible.
If you knock out a tooth, pick it up by the crown — not the root — and rinse it gently in salt water. Place the tooth back into its socket, if you can, or tuck it inside your cheek for safekeeping until it can be reimplanted by an oral surgeon. If the nature of your facial injury makes that too uncomfortable, store the dislodged tooth in a container of cold milk. Don’t use water, as that can damage the root tissue.
A facial injury involving a fracture of the nose, cheekbone or jaw requires immediate attention from a qualified oral surgeon. Specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery have the advanced skills and training to repair facial bones with minimal scarring. If you suspect you have a facial fracture, apply direct pressure to control any bleeding, keep your head elevated and apply ice to keep down swelling.
Do you need immediate care for a facial injury? If you’re in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. We have three convenient locations in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Toole, and we’ll make every effort to see you as soon as possible.
Our highly trained, board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, have over 10 years of experience in the treatment of oral soft tissue injuries, damaged teeth, facial fractures and complex facial injuries. For more information on how to handle a facial injury, or to schedule an oral surgeon consultation, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah today.
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