The effect of facial fractures on mouth opening range: a case series

Alexandre Meireles Borba, Alessandra Nogueira Porto, Andreia Santini, Thiago Iafelice dos Santos, Michael Miloro, Alvaro Henrique Borges, Fabio Luiz Miranda Pedro


Introduction: Facial fractures can result in limitation of mouth opening range, which consequently leads to functional impairments. Objective: To identify the influence of facial fractures and their corrective surgery on mouth opening range. Material and methods: Consecutive patients submitted to maxillofacial surgery had their mouth opening range measured at four different moments: preoperative (T0), immediate post-operative (within 24 hours after
operation) (T1), one-week post-operative (T2) and one-month postoperative (T3). Eighteen subjects composed the sample, majorly represented by male gender, fractures caused by direct trauma as in traffic accidents, age among 21-30 years old and presenting mandible fracture. Results: Mouth opening at T0 demonstrated a mean value of 26.63 mm, T1 decreased to a mean of 22.59 mm, T2 mean value evolved to 26.42 mm and T3 displayed mean value of
34.57 mm. Statistical evaluation demonstrated overall significance for
the comparison among all different periods, particularly for isolated mandible fractures, except between T0 and T2. Conclusion: It can be suggested that fracture itself and surgery for its correction have a negative effect on mouth opening range; however, the capacity of mouth opening presents signs of recovery since the first post-operative week, with notable progression until one month after surgery.



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