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We have all had a time or two when we’ve accidentally bitten a lip while eating food or chewing gum. While this can often cause a nip of pain, it rarely leads to any significant injury. However, there are some rare instances when a fall, blow to the face, or other accident can cause a more significant lip injury.

Even if you are in pain and distress, you need to keep a level head. Dr. Mauricio Martinez offers some basic first aid considerations to help you manage your lip injury.

The first thing you need to do is determine the extent of the injury to your lip. You can use a warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe away any blood. If you have blood or debris in your mouth you can rinse it away with lukewarm salt water. If the injury is severe you should consider going directly to the emergency room or an urgent care facility.

If your lip starts to swell 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 your lip continues to bleed, you can try pressing sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 20 minutes, it usually means the wound will require further treatment and a trip to the emergency room or urgent care is probably warranted.

If you have recently suffered a lip injury, and you’re not sure of the best way to manage it, you can call Dr. Mauricio Martinez at 239.549.0001 for more information.