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Minor lip injuries can sometimes be the result of accidentally biting down too hard when chewing gum or eating a meal. These instances rarely cause significant oral trauma. At most they might cause minor bleeding or cause a small area to swell.

Yet there are other rare times when an accidental blow to the face or a hard fall can cause more significant trauma to your lip. In a situation like this, you might need to administer some basic first-aid while assessing the need for emergency care. Assessing the severity of the oral trauma will help. If you have blood on your lip you can use a wet washcloth to gently wipe it away. Any blood or unwanted debris in your mouth can then be gently rinsed away with lukewarm saltwater. If your lip continues to bleed it might require stitches or further treatment at the Emergency Room or a nearby urgent care facility.

You might be able to minimize any swelling by holding a cold compress on the area for up to 20 minutes at a time. If you don’t have one immediately at hand, you can improvise a cold compress by placing crushed ice in a zip-top bag wrapped in a washcloth or tea towel. If the bleeding persists you can try to control the bleeding by pressing some sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped within half an hour it is a clear indicator that the traumatized soft tissues need treatment at the Emergency Room.

If you or someone you know has suffered a significant lip injury in the Coos Bay, Oregon, area and you need further first-aid advice can call 541-269-5353 to speak to Dr. Ryan R. Bailey & Keith Huff or a staff member at South Coast Family Dentistry.