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Accidents and injuries can happen to any part of your body, including your mouth. Sometimes a hard fall or blow to the face to injure your lip, split your lip or cause you to bite down on it very hard. A severe injury with excessive bleeding and pain warrants a trip to the emergency room. If your lip is only modestly injured, there are a few things you can do to help manage the problem.

First you’ll need to determine the extent of the injury to your lip, by wiping away any dried or excess blood with warm, wet washcloth. If you have blood or debris in your mouth you can rinse it away with lukewarm salt water.

You can try holding a cold compress on the area for 15 minutes at a time, to reduce swelling. A cold compress can be made quickly, by placing crushed ice in a zip-top bag wrapped in a washcloth or tea towel.

If bleeding persists, you can lightly press sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 15 to 20 minutes, then it probably warrants a trip to the emergency room. This usually means the wound will require further treatment and possibly stitches.

If you have questions about the best way to handle the issue or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call Dr. Bruce Westover at 928-634-5566.