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It’s not uncommon for something like a hard fall or blow to the face to injure your lip. In some cases, you can actually split your lip and cause swelling. In an extreme situation, it is even possible for 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 it needs basic first aid, your dentist, Dr. J. Richard Burch, offers a few basic tips to help you manage the situation.

It’s important 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 your mouth with lukewarm saltwater.

If your lip is starting to swell, you can hold a cold compress to the area for 15 minutes at a time. You shouldn’t hold the cold compress to your lip for longer than 20 minutes because the excess cold can also irritate sensitive tissues and impede blood flow. You can improvise a cold compress with a bag of frozen vegetables or a plastic bag of crushed ice that is wrapped in a tea 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 would like to know more about oral first-aid in Kansas City, Missouri, you can always call KC Smile Doc at 816-822-0990 to schedule an appointment.