Maxillary injuries. Maxillary fractures are a break in some of the bones, which form the lower part of the face. We have two jaws: the upper one, where the upper teeth are inserted, and the lower one, which is commonly called the mandible. These injuries or trauma can occur in any of its parts, although the most important are those of the lower jaw, because being a mobile bone, there is a greater risk of it being aggravated by movement, in addition to limiting the use of the mouth. it becomes much more annoying when speaking, eating or drinking.
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- 1 What are the jaws
- 1 Injuries
- 2 Causes
- 3 Symptoms
- 2 = What to do and what not to do when facing a maxillary injury =
- 3 Source
What are the jaws
The jaws are the bones that make up the lower part of the face. We have two jaws: the upper one, where the upper teeth are inserted, and the lower one, which is commonly called the mandible. The two jaws are joined by the temporomandibular joint, which is located at the level of the ear and is easily palpable when we open and close the mouth.
Another type of maxillary injury is dislocation, which occurs at the joint level and may or may not be accompanied by a rupture. It occurs when the lower jaw is displaced from its natural position and the joint becomes dislocated; like when two pieces that should be together get out of joint.
Maxillary fractures due to sports injuries or other types of accidents
Like any other body bone, if a force greater than its resistance is applied to the jaw, it ends up breaking or dislocating. It follows from this rule of three that any strong impact can be the cause of jaw injury (either fracture or dislocation), including:
- Physical assault blows, very frequent in fights with direct punches to the face.
- Accidents of any kind, both automobile and labor.
- Sports injuries ; Contact sports are one of the main causes of maxillary injuries.
If the cause of the jaw fracture is traumatic, in the case of dislocations there are other reasons apart from direct impacts:
- Joint hypermobility . This is a disease of the tissues, including tendons, muscles and ligaments, that makes the joints more flexible but also weaker, because the structures cannot hold the bone in place, and it is very easy for dislocations to occur. .
- There are people who can dislocate their jaws by opening their mouths too wide, such as yawning, screaming, or vomiting. Also, biting something very hard can dislocate the jaw .
The signs of a broken jaw and a dislocated jaw are slightly different, and it never hurts to learn to tell the difference. Regarding maxillary fractures, the most common symptoms are:
- Pain that worsens when the mouth is opened and closed, limiting movement. In the most serious injuries it is almost impossible to open and close it.
- Swelling in the affected area, sometimes the entire lower part of the face becomes inflamed.
- Bleeding from the mouth and bruising on the face when blood vessels have been damaged.
- Teeth sometimes appear broken or move.
- If any facial nerve has been damaged, a tingling sensation and numbness in the jaw may be felt.
- Deformation of the jaw, sometimes bumps or a different appearance are noted.
If the cause of the jaw dislocation is traumatic, some of the symptoms listed above may appear. However, the characteristics of a dislocated jaw are:
- Pain located in the mandibular joint, in front of the ear on the affected side. It is aggravated by chewing. This is also a cause of difficulty speaking.
- Sometimes it is impossible to close your mouth and there is constant drooling.
- The deformation is obvious, the jaw is crooked or thrown forward and when the mouth is closed the teeth are not aligned correctly.
= What to do and what not to do when facing a maxillary injury =
Jaw injuries are considered a medical emergency because the airways can be put at risk with possible obstructions or bleeding. The goal of first aid will be to minimize these risks and ensure that the injury does not worsen while seeking medical care.
Jaw fracture due to physical assault blows
First aid actions are similar in fractures and dislocations. The most important thing is to keep in mind a fundamental premise:
- Never try to correct the position of the jaw. This should only be done by a healthcare professional. Many times before reducing the dislocation or fracture, X-ray tests are necessary.
Once this concept is understood, the severity of the injury is analyzed and action is taken accordingly. Sometimes it is not possible to distinguish what type of injury it is, so as a general rule for either of these these are the steps to follow:
- In the first place it is important to ensure the permeability of the airway, that is, that the person can breathe without problems. If you are conscious, stay in a sitting position with your head slightly tilted forward, in case there is bleeding that does not swallow the blood and can be detected early. If you are unconscious you will be placed in a lateral safety position.
- Normally due to pain, the person keeps the teeth clenched and the jaw immobile, but to ensure immobility, a bandage or cloth can be tied to the head. The bandage should be easy to remove in case you feel like vomiting.
- To reduce pain and inflammation, cold cloths or ice can be applied, but never in direct contact with the skin.
- If the victim is unconscious, at the moment of transfer the jaw can be held to keep it in position and the mouth does not open.
- The final treatment for the dislocation is its replacement by a health professional, followed by rest and a soft diet for about six weeks.
- In the case of fractures, if they are slight they heal on their own, and if they are more serious they may require surgical intervention.
The main complications of this type of accident are bleeding and the fact that it affects the respiratory tract; If any of these problems occur, immediate medical assistance becomes essential. Especially hemorrhages are sometimes difficult to detect, since the person tends to swallow the blood instinctively, and only if he vomits it is it known how much he has ingested.
Although it is impossible to predict accidents, they can always be prevented to the maximum. The use of helmets and protections, both in the work environment and in sports, is essential. It is always possible to reduce risks to the maximum.