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The vast majority of lip injuries are minor and they often result from a misplaced bite while chewing gum or eating food. Most of these instances don’t cause overt harm and they require little first aid beyond placing an ice cube to the area to reduce a little swelling. However, there are some other rare instances when an oral accident can cause more significant trauma to your lip.

In a situation like this, you will likely need to apply some basic first aid while assessing the need to seek professional care at James A. Johnson, DDS.

It’s important to assess the severity of the trauma to your lip. You can do this by gently wiping away any blood with a wet, warm washcloth. You might be able to control moderate bleeding by applying modest pressure to a bandage. 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.

You should try holding a cold compress to your lip at the first sign of swelling. You shouldn’t hold the cold compress to your lip for longer than 15 to 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 that are wrapped in a tea towel.

If you’ve just suffered a significant lip injury and you live in the Houston, Texas, area, you can always call 713.988.0536 to seek professional advice from Dr. James Johnson.