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If you are an athlete participating in a contact sport, you are likely aware of the value of a quality mouthguard. Even with this sound protective measure in place, it is still possible for a severe blow to the face to cause damage to your lip.

The severity of the trauma will influence the first aid methods needed and any necessary professional treatment. To help manage and assess a situation like this, Dr. Tyjuan Williams and the oral care specialists at his Augusta, Georgia, clinic offer the following insights.

If your lip is bleeding excessively, you should strongly consider seeking emergency care at an urgent care facility or the local Emergency Room.

The first step in the first-aid process calls for assessing the severity of the injury to your lip. 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 and debris in your mouth, you can rinse them away with lukewarm saltwater.

Should your lip start 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.

You can lightly press sterile gauze to the wound to help control any bleeding. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 20 minutes, it usually means the lip injury requires professional care by a trained physician.

If you live in the Augusta, Georgia, area and you need further advice to help care for a lip injury, you can always call 706-868-4200 to consult with a member of our Tyjuan Williams DMD staff.