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Lip injuries can come in a wide range of severity and it can result from different sources. Most minor lip injuries are rarely significant. At most, they tend to cause a minor swelling that abates with time or by rubbing it for a few minutes with an ice cube.

However, a more significant lip injury from an accident or another form of oral trauma might need timely first aid and assessment to determine if professional care is necessary.

The first step is to assess the severity of the wound. If you have blood on your lip, you can use a warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe it away. Any blood or debris in your mouth can then be rinsed away with lukewarm saltwater.

If the lip is bleeding excessively, it might require stitches or other professional treatment at the emergency room or a nearby urgent care clinic.

You can try holding a cold compress on the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time to control any latent swelling. If you don’t have one immediately on hand, you can improvise a cold compress by placing crushed ice in a zip-top bag that is wrapped in a washcloth or tea towel.

Should the bleeding persist, 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.

Injuries to your lips also tend to cause damage to your teeth. Once the lip has been taken care of, it isn’t a bad idea to have your dentist evaluate the teeth in the area to make sure there hasn’t been any injury. They can also give you information on some of the possible long term consequences to look out for if you have had trauma to your teeth. These can include sensitivity, cracks, and infections.

If you live in the Greer, South Carolina, area and you need professional advice for managing a lip injury, you can call 864-663-5019 to consult with Dr. Peter McPherson or a member of our staff at Twin Falls Family Dentistry.