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It’s relatively common for someone to nip their lip or bite the edge of it while eating or chewing gum. This rarely results in any significant injury. At the same time there have been some freak accidents, often resulting from a fall or blow to the face, where a person has seriously injured their lip.

If your lip is bleeding excessively, or you’ve suffered additional oral trauma, Dearborn West Dental’s team of oral health care professionals recommend seeking emergency care. If the lip injury is more moderate, there are a few basic first aid treatments you can apply.

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 salt water.

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 bleeding persists, you lightly press sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 20 minutes, it usually means the lip injury needs to be seen by an urgent care physician or emergency room doctor.

If you have an injured lip, or you would like more oral first aid tips, you can call Dearborn West Dental’s office in Dearborn, Michigan at 313-562-5610 for a consultation.