In sports, when traveling in a car, or in daily life, the one part of your body that is always exposed is your face. Thus, the bones of your face and jaw are particularly prone to injury if you are in an accident or suffer a physical blow.
The most likely areas to be injured are the nose and body ridge around the eyes. Second on the list are the upper or lower jaws. When an injury involves your jaw, you may not realize all the different effects this injury can have, either immediately or over time. The lower jawbone can be dislocated or fractured. If the injury is not properly treated, your jawbone may be permanently moved out of its proper place which can affect your ability to open and shut your mouth. When this happens, it’s difficult to eat, drink, talk or keep one’s teeth clean.
In addition, the upper and lower teeth may no longer line up. This can lead to excessive wear and tear on the teeth and pain in the jaw, neck, face or head because of misplaced stresses. Therefore, rapid and accurate treatment of jawbone or facial injuries is vital to maintain optimum function of the jaw.
Causes of Facial or Jaw Injuries
Those who are active in team sports such as football, soccer, rugby or baseball are more likely to suffer from jaw or facial injuries than the general public. About 70% of car accidents cause injuries to faces, although most of these injuries occur in soft tissue. Twenty-two percent of motorcycle accidents produce injuries to the face and head, pointing out the importance of wearing a helmet. Fights and assaults very often produce facial fractures, dislocations and knocked out teeth.
Repairing Facial and Jaw Injuries
The face and skull are very complicated structures and should be treated by the most experienced facial and oral surgeon available. There are specific common fracture patterns in the face or jaw that an experienced surgeon will know about. She will also know the best way to stabilize injured areas so they can heal properly. It’s vital to take the person’s appearance into account, because damage to one’s appearance produces its own loss and emotional trauma.
Accurate repair of injuries to the upper or lower jawbone is essential to enable one to talk, eat and breathe normally for the rest of one’s life. Fractured jawbones must be stabilized in exactly the right locations to align the upper and lower teeth and maintain jawbone integrity. Your teeth experience pressures of 50 to 150 pounds when you chew hard foods, so any misalignments can mean worn-down teeth or temporomandibular joint (where the lower jawbone hooks into the skull) damage.
Oral Surgery in the Heart of Washington, D.C.
Oral surgeons like Dr. Virginia Lee are particularly qualified to repair the damage of jaw injuries or any facial fracture or soft tissue damage. During Dr. Lee’s years of additional training after dental school and her time at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, she gained experience and expertise in treating these injuries. She understands the functional aspects of jaw injury and the emotional aspects of facial injuries. As a dentist, she is also well qualified to incorporate any treatment of damaged teeth at the same time.
Dr. Lee is the owner of Capital Oral & Facial Surgery Center, located in the heart of Washington, D.C. If you’ve suffered a jaw or facial injury recently or in the past, call us for a consultation. Dr. Lee can restore your health, ideal function and desired appearance.