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Cut Lip or Tongue

Q: What should I do if I end up with a cut lip or tongue?

A: Like most dental emergencies, a cut lip or tongue can happen suddenly and when it’s least convenient. The causes of a cut lip or tongue can also vary, but in many cases it might be the result of an accident or injury, whether at home or elsewhere. But however and whenever it happens, immediate treatment is a necessity. In some cases, depending on how severe the cut might be, a simple home remedy is enough to solve the problem. In other cases, though, professional help at one of our emergency dental centers will be needed to fully resolve your emergency.

If you have just cut your lip or tongue, follow these home care steps to treat the problem on your own. First, you need to thoroughly clean the cut. The best way to do that is by rinsing your mouth thoroughly with warm saltwater. Why salt water? Because warm water alone may not be enough to adequately clean your cut. Salt water helps kill any bacteria that might have gotten into your cut in the brief time between when you first received it and when you were able to clean the cut.

After you have cleaned the wound with a combination of salt and water, your next step should be to apply pressure to the bleeding area for between 15 and 20 minutes with gauze or a cold compress. Applying pressure to a wound like a cut lip or tongue suppresses bleeding and gives the body time to start healing. You may also want to hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth to relieve pain and control swelling.

Q: What if these steps don’t stop my lip or tongue from bleeding?

A: In many cases, these steps are sufficient for stopping a cut lip or tongue from bleeding. But in the event that your bleeding doesn’t stop, you should call one of our emergency dental offices immediately. Through talking with a member of our team, we can determine what your best course of action is. We may be able to help in our office, or we may have to refer you to your local emergency room. At a local emergency room, medical staff trained in providing stitches can help. We may also be able to recommend other home care tips that you can try, in addition to the help we can provide at our emergency dental office.

Q: What if my cut is more serious and requires immediate attention?

A: If your cut demands immediate attention instead of just a home remedy, then you should make a trip to your local emergency room immediately. An emergency room can help you treat your cut with stitches. In most cases, though, only more serious cuts will require stitches. Many can be treated with the easy-to-follow home care steps outlined above.
If you have any more questions about how you can handle a cut lip or tongue, or any other dental emergency, don’t hesitate to give one of our emergency dental offices a call. Our team is dedicated to giving you and your family excellent care.

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