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Nipping your lip when chewing gum or eating food rarely causes enough damage to warrant first aid. Unfortunately, there are rare instances when an accident, blow to the face or sports injury can result in a significant lip injury. For these times, Dr. Michael King would like to offer a few essential first aid tips for taking care of an injured lip.

It’s important to get a clear understanding of how significant your lip injury is. If there is any blood on your lip, you can use a warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe it away. If you have blood or debris in your mouth you can rinse it away with lukewarm salt water.

If your bleeding is excessive, or if you’ve somehow bitten through your lip, it most likely warrants a visit to the emergency room.

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

If your injured lip continues to bleed you can try to control the bleeding by holding some sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 20 minutes, the wound likely requires professional treatment in the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.

If you would like more tips on how to be better prepared for common oral injuries, please call Team Dental at River Oaks and Burke in Burke, Virginia at 703-801-6166 to set up a consultation session.