Almost everyone bites their lip or tongue at some point. Usually, you’re enjoying something to eat, and you bite wrong, making your lip or tongue bleed. However, biting through your lip is a severe injury. Whether it happens while eating, playing sports or due to an accident like a fall, biting through your lip is an emergency that requires immediate attention from a medical professional. Not only can lip injuries of this kind put you at risk of an infection, but they also cause other overall oral health concerns.
Here’s our advice on what you should do if you bite through your lip.
Should You Go to the Emergency Room for a Serious Lip Injury?
Depending on how serious your lip injury is, you may not need emergency care. Clean a surface-level abrasion with soapy water and a cloth. Minor internal injuries can be rinsed with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water or salt water.
However, if your tooth goes through your lip or tongue, it requires emergency attention and may need the care of an oral surgeon. Your lips are made up of three layers — skin, muscle and mucous membrane. Serious lip lacerations that cut into the mucous membrane can create a small flap in your mouth. Not only can this issue impede your ability to chew correctly, but it can also trap food, leading to a severe infection. Most doctors prescribe antibiotics. Another reason to seek emergency medical assistance is to stop the laceration from bleeding.
When to Make an Appointment With Your Dentist
When a severe lip injury occurs, such as biting through your lip, it can impact your oral health in multiple ways, including:
- Altering your teeth structure
- Affecting your ability to close your mouth
- Causing trauma to your teeth
Even if you go to the emergency room to get your lip stitched up, you should still make an appointment with your dentist to ensure that you don’t have any long-lasting oral health issues.
What to Do While Waiting for Medical Attention
If you can’t see a doctor or dentist right away after you bite through your lip, it’s important to manage your lip or tongue pain and also reduce the risk of further complications. Here are some things you can do:
- Clean the area: After the injury occurs, carefully clean the area with gauze and ensure that there’s no debris or pieces of tooth left in your lip. If there is, leave the debris in the wound, and allow a medical professional to remove it.
- Rinse: A hydrogen peroxide and water mixture or salt water can be used to clean the wound.
- Control bleeding: Appy firm pressure over the wound with a clean towel or a piece of gauze.
- Apply a cold compress: Reduce the swelling by applying a cold compress wrapped in a cloth outside of your mouth.
- Use pain medication: Use over-the-counter pain relievers if you’re in pain.
Urgent Dental Care Available at Dental Choice
Dental Choice in Calgary and Edmonton provide urgent dental care when emergency situations arise, such as biting through your lip. Our dentists always try to keep open spots in their schedules for when circumstances like these occur, and many of our offices have evening and weekend appointment times. Even if our offices are closed, listen to the answering machine and follow the instructions to receive urgent care. We invite you to contact us anytime you encounter an emergency dental situation.