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Biting down on your lip when chewing gum or eating food rarely causes a significant injury. These incidents usually prove to be little more than a nuisance that might cause some minor, temporary swelling. Yet there are other instances when a hard fall or other oral accident can cause a more significant lip injury.

This level of oral trauma often calls for quality first aid and might also require professional care. To help manage and assess a situation like this, Dr. Joseph N. Falco and the oral care specialists at his Hopkinsville, Kentucky, clinic offer the following insights.

Please note, if your lip is bleeding excessively, you should strongly consider seeking emergency care at an urgent care facility or the local emergency room.

The first step in the first-aid process calls for assessing the severity of the injury to your lip. You can use a warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe away any blood to give you a better look at the lip injury. If you have blood or debris in your mouth, you can rinse them away with lukewarm saltwater.

If your lip starts swelling, you can try holding a cold compress on the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. A cold compress can be made quickly by placing crushed ice in a zip-top bag wrapped in a washcloth or tea towel.

If the bleeding persists, you can lightly press sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 20 minutes, it usually means the lip injury requires professional care by a trained physician.

If you live in the Hopkinsville, Kentucky, area and you need further advice to help care for a lip injury, you can always call 270-632-6404 to speak to a member of our Pennyrile Family Dentistry staff.