Smiles For Tomorrow
Oral Electrical Injuries

Course Author(s): American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Chicago, IL

Oral Electrical Injuries

Oral electrical injuries in children are usually the result of a toddler suckingor biting into a live electrical cord. The commissure of the mouth will showextensive damage from the electrical current "arcing," resulting in gray-white tissuewith elevated red margins. Bleeding does not usually occur at this stage.Minor pain and swelling usually result.

Emergency treatment is based on the extent of the wound. Debridement, systemicantibiotics, and a tetanus booster should be considered. Parents should becautioned that the eschar will slough in 5-7 days and that significant bleedingcould occur at this time.

Recent Electrical Burns:
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Scarred Commissure Burns:
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A commissure splint is fabricated within days of the injury andis worn for up to 12 months following the burn to prevent microstomia secondaryto wound contraction.

Commissure Splint:
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Commissure Splint in Place