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It’s not uncommon for something like a hard fall or a blow to the face to injure your lips. In some cases, this can actually split your lip and cause swelling. In extreme cases, an injury can cause you to bite through your lip.

If your injured lip is bleeding excessively, you should strongly consider going directly to the emergency room. If the injury isn’t critical, but still requires first aid, Summit Village Dental offers a few basic first aid considerations for taking care of your injured lip.

The first step is to determine the extent of the injury. Try to gently wipe away any dried or excess blood with a warm, wet washcloth. If you have blood or debris in your mouth, you can rinse it away with lukewarm salt water.

If your lip is starting to swell, hold a cold compress on the area for 15 minutes at a time. You shouldn’t hold the cold compress to you lip for longer than 20 minutes as excess cold can also irritate sensitive tissues and impede blood flow. You can improvise a cold compress with a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel.

To control minor bleeding, you can lightly press sterile gauze to your lip. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 15 to 20 minutes, you should seek emergency care. This is often a sign that the wound requires professional treatment.

If you have oral first aid questions, or you would like further tips on how to handle oral emergencies in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, you can call Summit Village Dental at 816-287-5650 to set up a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Jaclyn Turnbow.