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Accidentally biting your lip during a meal can cause a minor jolt of pain, yet it rarely causes any significant oral trauma. However, there are times when an accident or a blow to the face while playing a contact sport can cause a serious lip injury.

For a severe case with significant bleeding and pain, you should strongly consider going to the emergency room. For a moderate yet still serious lip injury, Dr. Sidney Adler offers the following first-aid tips.

The first step is to assess the severity of the damage to your lip. You can do this by gently wiping away any blood with a wet, warm washcloth. Minor bleeding can often be controlled 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 wrapped in a tea towel.

If you’ve just suffered a significant lip injury and you live in the Riverdale, New York, area, you can always call 718-548-3353 to seek professional advice from the specialists at Riverdale Oral Health and Implant Center.