What are soft tissue injuries?
Facial trauma from sports collisions, vehicle accidents and falls can cause damage to the lips, cheeks, gums and tongue. Known as soft tissue injuries, severe cases may require oral surgery for both medical and aesthetic reasons.
Types of soft tissue injuries
Almost all soft tissue injuries of the face can be categorized as cuts, punctures, lacerations or bruises. When required, damaged soft tissues are sutured back together by your oral and maxillofacial surgeon (oral surgeon). In some cases, the patient may need to return to have the sutures removed.
Special considerations with soft tissue oral surgery
Soft tissue oral surgery can be complicated by oral structures, such as nerves and salivary glands, that are located near to the surgical site. Oral surgeons are highly-skilled and trained specialists who can perform these procedures safely and successfully.
Don’t wait to see the oral surgeon
Patients who experience facial trauma should consult an oral surgeon immediately. The sooner soft tissue injuries are repaired, the more likely it is that the patient will make a full recovery with full functionality of all facial structures and the least amount of impact on facial appearance. If you are unsure whether your facial trauma is an emergency or not, call your oral surgeon to explain the situation and get professional advice.
Postop care and healing
If you do require oral surgery for soft tissue injuries, it is important to follow your surgeon’s postop instructions for a fast recovery. Take special care to keep the surgical site clean and contact your surgeon if you experience excessive bleeding, swelling or discomfort.
Preventing soft tissue injuries
Many patients who experience facial trauma could have avoided their injuries with preventative measures and safety devices, including wearing their seatbelt and using a mouthguard, helmet or other safety equipment.