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It’s a relatively common occurrence to accidentally bite your lip when you’re eating food or chewing gum. Even if it leaves a minor welt, it’s rarely a cause for concern. Unfortunately, there are some rare occasions when a blow to the face or other accident causes a more serious injury. In a situation like this, our dentist, Dr. Obiora E. Nkwonta, recommends these basic tips to provide first aid for an injured lip.

First, you’ll need to assess the severity of the injury. This can be done by gently wiping away any blood with a wet, warm washcloth. Minor bleeding can often be controlled by applying modest pressure to the area with a bandage or sterile gauze pad. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 15 to 20 minutes, you should seek emergency care. This is often a sign that the wound requires care by a physician.

If your lip starts to swell, you can hold a cold compress on the area for 15 minutes at a time. You shouldn’t hold the cold compress to your lip longer than 20 minutes as excess cold can also irritate sensitive tissues and impede blood flow. You can improvise a cold compress with a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel.

For further insights on how to provide first aid for an injured lip in Seattle, Washington, you can always call Rainier Dental Center at 206.329.1100 to seek professional advice.