Fractures in the face and jaw area leave you in pain and a lot of concern. Will my face look the same after it heals? When will my pain subside? The Bay Area OSM team realizes that with fractures come lots of questions. The highly skilled surgeons not only provide you with the answers but also provide some of the best fracture treatments in California, and surrounding the San Francisco Bay area. If you suspect a fracture, call the office or book your appointment online.

What are common causes of facial fractures?

Facial fractures occur because of sudden impacts to the facial area. The bones in the face are some of the most commonly fractured in the entire body.  The facial skeleton is made up of the forehead, (frontal bone), cheekbones (referred to as the zygomas), eye sockets (also called the orbital bones) the nasal bones, and the upper and lower jawbones (the maxillary and mandible bones respectively). The jaw area is especially at risk because it sticks out from your face making it a high-risk fracture area especially in face forward falls.

Some common causes of facial fractures include:

  • Sports injuries (especially high impact sports like football, boxing, baseball, and basketball)
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Work injuries (i.e. construction and manual labor)
  • Bone loss
  • Certain oral pathology (i.e. cancer and periodontal disease)
  • Physical assault

The providers at Bay Area OSM treat facial fractures occurring in your jaw, cheeks, and orbital bone areas.

Will my face look the same after a fracture?

As long as you get prompt care after the swelling subsides your face will return to its normal appearance. It is important to visit Bay Area OSM after any impact to the face for the providers to examine you. Using the latest in medical diagnostic technologies, the team can spot and treat even the smallest of fractures. Time is of the utmost importance as your fracture needs to be set so your bone repairs itself correctly.

Can facial fractures heal on their own?

It is very dangerous to leave a facial injury to heal on its own, even if there is little pain. Without the attention of a professional, a facial injury could lead to irreversible damage or can even be life-threatening. Many nerves responsible for senses such as sight and smell pass through facial bones and if the bones are allowed to heal on their own they could damage the nerves and the senses could be lost. Breathing difficulties could develop if you were to leave a broken jaw unattended. It could also cause problems with chewing and swallowing. Injuries that cause facial fractures may also affect the central nervous system or brain so it could be vitally important to get medical attention.


Treatment is designed to match the location and severity of your fracture. If it’s a small fracture in your jaw, it might be wired shut to keep the bones immobile while you heal. Larger fractures to your jaw, cheek, or eye area might need plates installed with small surgical screws to strengthen and support your bone regrowth.

You should start feeling better within a few weeks, but it’s best to avoid any activity where you risk a blow to your face like sports for at least six to eight weeks so your bone can fully heal.

Took a blow to your facial area and need to see if you have a fracture? Call the Bay Area OSM office today to set up your diagnostic appointment or book online.



It may take many weeks or even months for the full sensation to return to your face. In a few cases, the sensation may only partially return or it may not return at all. Facial bones have small channels that allow nerves to pass through. These nerves are responsible for the senses of touch, heat, and pain. Swelling in the bone can apply pressure on the nerves reducing the sensation in the face. Only when swelling in the bone has fully subsided will the sensation return.

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