Facial Trauma

Facial Trauma

Facial trauma, sometimes called maxillofacial injury, is an injury to the face, upper, and lower jaw bone. This includes injuries to the skin covering, underlying skeleton, neck, nasal (sinuses), orbital socket, or oral lining, as well as the teeth and dental structures. Facial trauma is often caused by auto accidents, violence, or penetrating injuries.

Symptoms Include:

• difficulty breathing through the nose
• abnormal sensations or irregularities of the face or cheeks
• swelling around the eyes which may be causing vision problems
• facial lacerations (breaks in the skin)
• a widened distance between the eyes
• missing teeth


Soft tissue injuries include any lacerations to the soft tissue of the face. Our oral surgeons will carefully examine and treat any injuries to the facial nerves, glands, or ducts. Surgery may be required to realign fractures and reduce scarring. If a tooth is knocked out, do not wipe the tooth off. Quickly place it in salt water or milk. If the tooth is quickly replanted in the dental socket, it will have a greater chance for reattachment. See our oral surgeons as soon as possible.


Each year in the United States, approximately three million people are treated for facial trauma injuries. It is important to wear seat belts and use protective head gear for contact sports or activities such as biking and skateboarding, and to avoid violent confrontations.

Helpful Links:

AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) on Facial Trauma

AAOMS PDF on Facial Trauma




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