Soft tissue trauma
Soft tissue trauma can result from facial or oral injury and requires medical and/or dental emergency treatment. Trauma to soft tissue may take on the form of cuts, puncture wounds, scalds and burns. However, soft tissue trauma may also manifest in other conditions:
- Improper teeth brushing technique
- Tooth decay or infection
- Dental avulsion
- Gum inflammation or gum disease
- Oral disease, such as caries and mouth cancer
- Oral ulcers and blisters
- Improper wear of dental braces
- Ill-fitting dentures or mouth guards
An oral injury can arise when eating something where a piece of metal is present and this punctures the tongue or gum tissue. Oral injuries can include dental avulsion when one or more teeth are knocked out, the lip is cut or facial and gum tissue is damaged. Such injuries through falls, blunt contact, accidents or assault usually require emergency dental care. If a head injury is present medical emergency treatment may take priority.
Soft tissue trauma that affects oral structure should be treated as early as possible by a local or emergency dentist to prevent infection. As the soft tissues of the face and mouth are sensitive and contain networks of blood vessels and nerves, symptoms can range from mild to severe bleeding and pain.
The initial response should be to try and prevent anxiety build-up, to stay calm and use clean cotton wool to stop the bleeding. Medical or dental emergency care should then be sought. The injured individual may not be in a condition to realise the extent of their injury and may require help in contacting a professional for emergency treatment.
Injuries to the face and mouth can cause jaw and dental damage which requires emergency dental care. Dislodged teeth or a misaligned or broken jaw requires urgent treatment, so teeth are not lost and the jaw is repositioned for healthy bite function.
Treating soft tissue trauma early can also prevent worse scarring from developing and affecting an individual's smile. Local and emergency dentists strive to treat soft tissue injuries for improved health while preserving an individual's natural smile.
Treating Soft Tissue Trauma and Bleedings
When soft tissue trauma is first experienced bleeding may be profuse. Stemming the bleeding at this point is crucial and you need to remain calm. Blood may fill the mouth and restrict breathing, so it is important to use warm water to rinse the mouth to prevent excess blood accumulation.
Once the mouth is rinsed you should use cotton wool and gently apply pressure to the treatment site for about ten minutes. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and do not try to wipe the trauma site.
Apply an ice-pack to the face or jaw to relieve further painful symptoms while seeking emergency dental care. If head injury or concussion is present these steps may not be possible and help needed from another person to stem bleeding.
Receiving immediate care from an emergency dental professional is vital to protect oral health. Medical emergencies can develop where dental emergencies are left untreated. Medical and dental professionals are trained in handling emergencies to ensure those suffering soft tissue trauma receive screening for severity and treatment.
Burns to the face and mouth may require special care that only emergency medical and/or dental professionals can provide. Oral ulcers and blisters can result from sexually transmitted diseases or from weak immune systems and autoimmune disorders. Eating foods can irritate these wounds. Getting the right advice and treatments reduces the oral discomfort and prevents the conditions from worsening.
Making appointments with medical doctors and dentists will help individuals to receive the right diagnosis and treatment for soft tissue trauma.
Emergency Dental Care for Soft Tissue Trauma
When soft tissue trauma occurs it is important to contact an emergency dentist for assessment and care as early as possible. Early intervention can prevent the condition from escalating into a medical emergency.
Typically, accident and emergency departments have access to oral surgeons who are qualified and experienced in handling soft tissue emergencies. Where head injury or concussion is suspected getting to an A&E unit as soon as possible is needed.
Individuals incurring such injuries may require help to get them to A&E safely. Where neck injuries may be present it is recommended not to move the individual until paramedics arrive.
Where mild soft tissue trauma is present an appointment can be made with a dentist for assessment and care. Emergency dentists provide consultation and diagnostic screening to evaluate the severity of the soft tissue trauma and potential damage. Only a dental professional is able to assess oral symptoms for proper dental diagnosis.
Emergency dentists assist in ensuring bleeding is stemmed before cleaning the soft tissue trauma site. Once cleaned and screened for severity appropriate treatment is provided before the site is closed with dissolving sutures.
The recovery process and healing rate is monitored through follow-up appointments. An individual may be referred for specialist care such as orthodontic treatment, a maxillofacial surgeon or cosmetic surgery to reduce scarring. We aim to treat patients holistically to ensure they receive the emergency care needed for oral and overall healing.
Head, Facial and Dental Injury
It is essential for individuals suspected of having a head or neck injury with concussion to be treated through emergency medical care. The individuals may be unconscious or disorientated and not realise the severity of their condition.
Soft tissue trauma can take on a range of forms that are mild, moderate or severe. Breathing may be restricted or there may be bleeding on the brain that requires urgent medical care to prevent a life-threatening situation. Emergency medical care is vital in such cases.
Only a trained and experienced dental professional may diagnose the type and severity of soft tissue trauma. Oral surgeons are often present in accident and emergency departments and are called in to screen soft tissue trauma if oral or jaw damage is present. These professionals treat the individual to reduce pain and aid recovery.
Accessing Treatment for Soft Tissue Trauma
Individuals experiencing soft tissue trauma should be assessed by a medical and/or dental professional to determine extent of the trauma and treatment to restore health. Get in touch with us by phone or email and we can make an appointment to assess the severity soft tissue trauma and provide appropriate care.