Soft tissue trauma may include lacerations to the lips, frenum, tongue, cheeks,and hard and soft palate. Frenum lacerations are common in toddlers who fallwhen learning to walk and are also associated with forced feeding. Childrenwho ambulate while holding rigid objects in their mouths are at risk for hard andsoft palate lacerations when they fall. Lacerated lips may contain tooth fragmentsif a tooth is also fractured in the injury. Fragments should be removed beforesuturing.
Wound management consists of hemorrhage control, cleansing, and sutures as indicated.Antibiotics are recommended for "through and through" lacerations.
The risk of severe dental and facial injuries can be reduced significantly whencarefully fitted mouthguards and facemasks are worn when participating in sportingactivities. Routine use of helmets (e.g. for bicycling and skateboarding),seat belts, and age-appropriate car seats also can help decrease risk of orofacialinjuries.