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While it might be mildly surprising, accidentally biting your lip when you’re chewing gum or eating food rarely results in a significant injury. Unfortunately, there are rare instances when an oral accident or blow to the face can cause a serious lip injury.

The bleeding and severity of the injury will directly influence the best way to treat it. If your lip is bleeding excessively, you should probably go directly to the emergency room.

If the lip simply requires some quality first aid, your dentist, Dr. Douglas Hauck, offers these considerations to keep in mind.

You can use a warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe away any blood and give you a better look at the lip injury. If you have blood or debris in your mouth, you can rinse it away with lukewarm saltwater.

If your lip starts swelling, you can try holding a cold compress on 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 minutes, it usually means the lip injury requires professional care by a trained physician.

If you are looking for basic information about how to manage a lip injury or other oral trauma, you can always call (949) 729.9950 to seek advice from your dentist in Newport Beach, California.