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Athletes who participate in contact sports are at increased risk of injury. While a sprain or bruise can certainly be severe, a blow to the face during a practice or a game can also cause serious injury to your lips or other soft oral tissues.

In a situation like this, it’s important to apply some timely first aid while assessing the need for professional care. To aid in these moments, Dr. Purvesh Malaviya offers some of the following insights.

Excessive bleeding is a likely symptom you should strongly consider seeking emergency care at a hospital or urgent-care facility.

For a more moderate lip injury, it’s important to apply basic first aid while assessing the severity of the injury to your lip. You can start by using a warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe away any blood to give you a better look at the lip injury. If you have blood or debris in your mouth, you can rinse them away with lukewarm saltwater.

If your lip starts to swell, 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 Brockton, Massachusetts, area and you need further advice to care for a lip injury, you can always call 508-588-1400 to consult with a member of our staff at Creative Smiles Dental Care.