Oral emergencies can vary in their severity and treatment options. Obviously, something like nipping your lip when you’re chewing rarely calls for urgent care. However, there are some instances when a blow to the face, hard fall or other accident can lead to serious lip injury. Sometimes you can treat the lip injury on your own. In other cases, the lip injury might require immediate medical attention.
If the damage to your lip is clearly severe, like when there is excessive bleeding and pain, it most likely warrants a trip to the emergency room. If the injury isn’t severe but it still requires some additional care, our The Dental Studio on 30th team offers these basic first-aid tips to help take care of your injured lip.
First, you will need to assess the extent of the injury. Start by wiping away the blood with a warm, wet washcloth. If you have blood or debris in your mouth, you can rinse it away with lukewarm saltwater.
You can try holding a cold compress to the area for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. Try not to hold the cold compress to your lip for longer than 20 minutes because excess cold can also irritate or damage sensitive tissues. You can create 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 lightly press sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 15 to 20 minutes, it probably warrants a trip to the emergency room. This usually means that the wound requires professional treatment and possibly sutures or staples to seal the wound and start the healing process.
If you have additional questions about how to handle or be prepared for an oral emergency in Farmington, New Mexico, you can call The Dental Studio on 30th at 505.592.0477 to set up a consultation with your dentist, Dr. Brett Riche.