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Lip injuries come in a wide range of severity. A minor injury that occurs from accidentally nibbling on your lip while eating might cause some minor swelling, yet it is rarely a cause for concern. In most of these situations, you might need to apply an ice cube to the sore spot for a few minutes.

However, there are other times when a dental accident or other oral trauma manages to cause a more significant lip injury. To help you manage these situations with quality first aid and injury assessment, Dr. John Ifantis offers the following insights.

The first thing to do is to assess the severity of the injury. If there’s blood on your lip or chin, you can use a warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe it away. If you have blood or debris in your mouth, you can rinse them away with lukewarm saltwater.

If you find that the trauma to the lip is severe, you should probably seek professional care at the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.

If your lip starts to swell, you can try holding a cold compress to 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 to 30 minutes, it likely means the lip injury requires professional care by a trained physician.

If you live in the Morton Grove, Illinois, area and you need professional advice for treating a significant lip injury, you can always call (847) 268.4998 to speak a staff member at Ifantis Dental Care.