Fall is here, and sports fans and players couldn’t be happier. With many sports such as football, soccer, and basketball getting started, now is an ideal time to educate yourself about sports-related facial trauma injuries. Sports-related injuries are one of the most common causes of facial trauma in children and adults alike.
In many sports, it is impossible to avoid the risk of facial trauma. Colliding with other players, the ground, or a ball can cause serious facial injuries. Additionally, the face often has the least protection for injury prevention. Our team at Boise Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center wants you to have a fun and safe season, which is why we’ve provided a bit of information about common sports-related facial injuries and how they are treated by oral and maxillofacial surgeons, like Dr. Scott Bobst.
Some of the most common sports-related facial injuries are:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Lacerations and bruises can sometimes be treated at home, depending on the severity. In all cases of head trauma, you should see a doctor to ensure you don’t have a concussion. Using an ice pack is a good way to reduce swelling and bruising after a facial trauma. For cuts, applying pressure with gauze can help slow bleeding. Having a first aid kit on hand at sports events is also a good idea.
Sports-related falls and impacts can cause lacerations to the inside of the mouth, including the gums, cheeks, and tongue. These types of soft tissue injuries can be difficult to treat on your own; if lacerations are more serious, they are usually treated with sutures. Fortunately, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in facial reconstructive surgery, making them experts in repairing all sorts of facial wounds with advanced care and attention. They can also help you with proper post-treatment care to speed healing and prevent infection.
Fractures around the nose, cheekbones, and jaw are common in sports injuries. Oral surgeons use advanced techniques to fix facial bones in place, like using metal plates and screws to join broken bones.
Oral surgeons understand the delicate balance between the muscles and bones of the face as a result of their facial surgery training in hospital settings. Even after their schooling is complete, many oral surgeons remain on staff at local hospitals for emergency facial trauma cases. If you are in need of a facial surgery related to a traumatic injury, our surgical team will see you as soon as possible (usually that same day you call) to diagnose and treat your condition.
Sometimes teeth can be chipped, cracked, or knocked out during a sports-related impact. If your tooth is knocked out, do NOT try to wipe it off or clean it. There are important connective tissues attached to teeth, and removing them can make it impossible to restore the tooth. Put the tooth in some saliva or whole milk and see a dental professional immediately for replacement. If a tooth is broken or cracked, bite gauze to control bleeding and see a dentist or other dental professional to repair the tooth.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth from sports-related or other injuries, you may be a candidate for dental implants or a full-arch restoration. Contact our office for more information about tooth replacement.
Preventing Facial Injuries
Wearing the proper helmets, mouth guards, and/or face shields recommended for your sport is one of the best ways to stay safe. Facial injuries can even happen during practice, so remember to wear protective gear whenever you play. We hope you have a great season, and all of us appreciate your interest in our practice! Contact us any time if you’d like more information about the procedures we offer, or if you would like to schedule a consultation.