Treating Intra-Oral Lacerations
At one point in our lives, we were all kids who were running around and getting into trouble while having fun and playing. Bumps and scrapes along the way were a fact of life, and for the most part, we would present our parents with a cut on our knee and expect a bandage and a kiss and be sent on our way.
Unfortunately, intra-oral lacerations are often much more severe than a simple bump on the knee, and they require medical intervention from professionals. When we here at Pacific Oral & Facial Surgery Center meet a patient who comes into our office with an intra-oral laceration, we are careful to assess the site and treat it to ensure the best possible outcome for our patient.
What Types of Intra-Oral Lacerations Do We Treat?
Injuries to the face and mouth can occur for a myriad of different reasons. When an injury occurs specifically inside the mouth, it is considered an intra-oral laceration. This is a specific subset of a soft tissue injury that can occur to the face and mouth region. Common causes of these injuries include lacerations caused by playing sports, injuries due to automobile accidents, accidents that occur at work, injuries that can occur in personal relationships, and those which can occur when a person falls and hits their head and face.
It is vital that you treat an injury with a laceration to the mouth like an emergency. Depending on the location or the severity of the injury, lasting complications can arise if they are not addressed or treated immediately. Because there are many nerve structures and important glands and organs in the mouth, these lacerations need to be professionally treated to prevent dysfunction of these glands or permanent damage to the area.
There are many different types of intra-oral lacerations that can occur, and our approach to treatment will depend largely on some factors, including the specific site of the injury and the depth and size of the laceration. If we meet a patient with an injury to the oral mucosa (the smooth, pink skin inside the mouth) or the gingival tissue (the gums), we will start by assessing the mouth to ensure there are no bone fragments lodged into the tissue. If there are, we will remove them to prevent problems like infection. If the laceration is large in size (bigger than two centimeters), we will apply sutures to the site to help encourage it to heal.
A laceration to the tongue requires careful treatment. Smaller lacerations should typically heal without requiring sutures, but when a tongue becomes injured, there is a danger of it losing function. We need to ensure that we can preserve the tongue without causing nerve damage. If the tongue has a laceration larger than one and a half centimeters, the injury has cut deep to the muscle, or the tongue is split, we will need to suture the site to ensure the best outcome for the patient.
Let Us Help with Any Intra-Oral Laceration You May Get
If you have sustained trauma to your face that led to an intra-oral laceration, it is critical that you call us right away for an appointment to assess the injury. The sooner we can treat it, the better the outcome will be for you. To learn more about intra-oral lacerations, or to set up an appointment with us, please give us here at Pacific Oral & Facial Surgery Center a call today at 925-290-7727!