Emergency physicians are usually the first to see patients with injuries to oral and facial tissues. Because many of these patients may have life-threatening neurologic injuries, secondary oral and perioral problems may be overlooked initially. These injuries, however, have a profound potential for causing lifelong disability and disfigurement and should be addressed as soon as the patient's condition stabilizes. It is essential to diagnose and manage these problems effectively in the emergency setting and then to make prompt direct referral to an appropriate specialist when the patient's condition permits.
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