Difficulty breathing, talking, or swallowing following a facial injury
Injuries to the face can cause rapid swelling, which can make it
harder to breathe or swallow normally. Mild difficulty breathing or swallowing
can quickly become more serious following a facial injury.
Difficulty breathing following a facial injury may be caused
Internal bleeding is one of the most serious consequences of trauma. Usually, the bleeding results from obvious injuries that require rapid medical attention. Internal bleeding may also occur after a less severe trauma or be delayed by hours or days. Some internal bleeding due to trauma stops on its own. If the bleeding continues or is severe, surgery is required to correct it.
Airway obstruction. Saliva, blood, vomit,
swollen or injured tissues, broken teeth, dirt, or broken dental work or
dentures may block your airways, causing mild difficulty breathing. This can
quickly progress to complete obstruction. It is important to keep the airway
Broken facial bones, such as the cheekbone, nose, or
Slight swelling of the nasal passages may cause a stuffy nose. The
stuffiness will often clear up within 48 to 72 hours with home
Nasal stuffiness following a facial injury in a baby can be more
serious. Babies like to breathe through their noses, so a facial injury may
cause some breathing trouble for them. Prompt medical treatment can prevent
Difficulty talking or swallowing
Difficulty talking or swallowing your own saliva following a facial
injury may be caused by:
Saliva, blood, vomit, swollen or injured
tissues, broken teeth, dirt, or broken dental work or dentures inside your
Broken bones in your face.
A dislocated jaw.
This occurs when the lower jawbone (mandible) is pulled apart from one or both
of the joints connecting it to the base of the skull at the temporomandibular
Pain that prevents you from moving your mouth to
Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Primary Medical Reviewer
William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
May 11, 2009
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 11, 2009
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