Dental Emergencies Part 4: Lip and Tongue Wounds
This is part 4 in a 4-part series during National Children’s Dental Health Month. Check back each Monday in February for more information on what to do with toothaches and infections, broken teeth, and knocked out & missing teeth.
The following instructions are to serve as a planning tool – it is still very important to call your dentist immediately for definitive instructions on how to handle a dental emergency. If the situation is life-threatening, call 911 or visit the ER first!
Part 4: Lip and Tongue Wounds
The human face is an extremely delicate body part. Just think about all of the sensitive nerve endings and tiny blood vessels inside around your mouth. No wonder it hurts and bleeds a lot when cut or damaged.
Not only can blood scare children (and lots of adults) it can cover up more serious injuries. Swelling can set in very quickly and make lips, tongues, and gums look and feel disfigured. Don’t rely on just a visual inspection of the wound.
Clean the area gently with a clean cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding can’t be controlled after applying firm but gentle pressure to the area, go to the emergency room or an urgent care center. KidMed is a great after hours urgent care center for kids in Glen Allen and Midlothian.
Call your pediatric dentist to evaluate the lip/tongue, and to confirm that your child’s teeth were not affected by the trauma. Sometimes this just involves a visual inspection. In more serious cases, we may need to x-ray the child’s mouth to look for hidden damage.
Like you, we hate to see our children in pain and scared. Staying calm can help your child stay calm. Usually, the sooner you can get treatment, the better.
(CC Photo Credit: pewari on Flickr)