INJURIES OF THE LIPS AND TONGUE
to the lips, tongue and the inside of the mouth is quite common.
The soft flesh of the lips and their exposed location make them
particularly vulnerable to injury. With a blow to the face,
the lips can be crushed against the teeth, causing bruising
or lacerations. A person's own teeth can cut the inside of the
lip or cause a puncture wound that penetrates the skin.
A tongue laceration often happens when a fall or blow causes
someone to bite down on his or her tongue.
Any laceration inside of the mouth usually bleeds heavily because
of the rich supply of blood to the area.
include bruising, swelling, or cuts on the lips or tongue.
health care professional will ask about your recent trauma and
do a thorough physical exam of the area. If the lips are injured,
he or she will check the teeth and bone for damage, and will
check whether any pieces of chipped tooth are in the cut.
healing time for a lip or tongue laceration will depend on the
severity of the cut. However, the extensive network of blood
vessels in the mouth area promotes quick healing.
lip and tongue injuries occur while participating in athletic
or recreational activities and could be prevented through the
use of a safety mouth guard. Mouth guards are made of soft plastic
that is adapted to fit the shape of the upper teeth, protecting
both the lips and teeth. Preformed guards are available in sporting
goods stores or a dentist can create a custom-fit guard.
using seat belts and car seats can reduce the risk of trauma
as a result of car accidents.
home, you can clean injured skin surfaces with mild soapy water
and a soft clean cloth. To clean cuts inside the mouth, rinse
with salt water or a hydrogen peroxide solution (one part hydrogen
peroxide and one part water). Be sure not to swallow this peroxide
rinse. However, do not be concerned if it foams. The peroxide
is reacting to the bacteria normally found in the mouth.
If your lip is swollen or bruised, apply a cold compress. If
there is bleeding, apply pressure with a clean cloth for at
least five minutes. To help limit swelling, bleeding and discomfort,
wrap crushed ice in clean gauze or a clean piece of cloth, and
hold it inside the cheek.
Certain injuries will require medical attention from an oral
or maxillofacial surgeon. It is particularly important to have
an experienced surgeon stitch cuts that cross the vermilion
border — the line that forms the junction between the skin and
the fleshy part of the lip. Experience is required to make sure
this boundary looks right as it heals because even a small irregularity
will be permanently noticeable.
The doctor will first thoroughly clean the wound with lots of
salt water or a hydrogen peroxide rinse to remove bacteria.
Puncture wounds to the lip will then be closed from the inside
out. Suturing all layers reduces the chance of scarring and
helps make sure that the muscles around the lip maintain their
ability to move.
Small puncture wounds in the tongue usually heal without the
need for any treatment other than cleansing with antiseptic
or hydrogen peroxide rinses. Although large cuts may require
stitches, they tend to be hard to keep in place for any length
of time because the tongue is so mobile during talking and chewing.
the mouth is rich with bacteria, an antibiotic often is prescribed
following a lip or tongue laceration to ward off infection.
to Call a Professional
medical care if:
Bleeding cannot be controlled with pressure and a cold compress.
- A laceration crosses the border between the lip and facial
- The lip is punctured.
- An infection develops after an injury — Signs of any infection
— redness, tenderness, fever and drainage of pus — usually will
be evident approximately four days after the injury.
a tooth is loose, visit All Day All Night Dental
outlook is excellent. The rich blood supply in the oral cavity
promotes rapid healing, often with minimal scarring.
DISLODGED (EXTRUDED) TOOTH
You Can Do
a tooth is partially loosened or dislodged from its socket,
dentists call it an extruded tooth. As long as the nerve and
blood vessels remain intact, an extruded tooth may be saved
without root-canal treatment, depending on how displaced it
save the tooth, it's essential to see your dentist right away.
You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever or apply a cold
pack or ice to relieve pain until you reach the dental office.
We Will Do at All Day All Night Dental
dentist will clean the area and then put the tooth back in the
right position. He or she may use a plastic splint or orthodontic
wire brackets to keep the tooth stable until it has a chance
the nerves or blood vessels were damaged, your dentist may recommend
root canal treatment to prevent the tooth from becoming discoloured
or developing an abscess, which is an infection. The dentist
should do a series of tests to determine if the nerve has been
damaged. These tests also may have to be done at follow-up appointments
because the tests may not be accurate right after the tooth
not unusual for small food particles — especially hard particles
such as popcorn hulls — to get underneath the gum and irritate
the tissues. If the food particle is not removed and the irritation
goes on long enough, the area may get infected.
What You Can Do
you feel something wedged under the gum, try using dental floss
to remove it. If this doesn't help, take a toothpick and gently
run it around the gum line. You may be able to dislodge the
particle. You have to be careful, however, that you don't hurt
your gum with the toothpick or accidentally push the particle
deeper under the gum.
Our Dentist Will Do
you can't remove a foreign body yourself, it's important to
see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist has specialized
tools for reaching into tight spaces. Also, he or she will examine
the area to ensure that it's clean and free of infection.