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Soft Tissue Injuries, Oral

Soft tissue injuries to the face and mouth include cuts, punctures, bruises and lacerations. In serious accidents or traumatic events, soft tissue injuries may occur along with other injuries such as fractures.

Diagnosis

Soft tissue injuries can be diagnosed by an examination of the patient's face and mouth. The physician will feel the area around the injured tissue, and will also ask about the particular circumstances that led to the injury. X-rays may be necessary to make sure no bones have been fractured. In some cases, CT or MRI scans may be used for further evaluation.

Treatment

Because of the very high density of blood vessels in the face and mouth, which carry blood and nutrients to the soft tissue, injuries to this area heal quite well with proper treatment.

Soft tissue injuries are first cleaned carefully to reduce the risk of infection. Serious wounds may require treatment with antibiotics.

In some cases, injuries then need to be repaired with sutures, or stitches. Since injuries to the face are particularly visible, oral and maxillofacial surgeons use specific techniques to minimize scarring.

Physicians also check for any possible damage to deeper tissues such as nerves or salivary glands, as well as damage to the eyes, nose and ears - these may require treatment from other specialists.

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