In conventional terms most maxillofacial trauma is divided into hard (fractures or broken bones) and soft tissue trauma (generally everything else but most frequently referring to skin injuries).

This section deals with the slightly unusual category of “damage other than fractures”. Fractures are discussed separately. We will outline the cause, signs and symptoms of a number, usually traumatic, conditions which result in damage to soft tissues of the mouth, jaws, face, scalp and neck. Sometimes the injuries will be combined with underlying hard tissue injuries.

Such injuries include lacerations (serious cuts and tears), burst wounds, explosive wounds and burns. They are described, by convention, either as the injury received (lacerations) or by the mechanism of the injury (blast wounds or burns for example).

Next section: Damage