While some people bite their lips or other parts of their mouth, including their cheek or tongue, as a coping mechanism when dealing with stress, many people bite their lips accidentally. Either way, if you bite too hard and open a wound on your lip, accidental bites usually don’t require medical attention, although they can be painful. The important thing to keep in mind when tending to a wound on your lip is to make sure it is clean, so an infection doesn’t develop. However if it does turn into an infection, then continue reading to learn more on how to treat a bit lip infection.
What Happens When You Bite Your Lip?
Biting your lip can be painful since your lips have a lot of nerve endings, making them more sensitive than other parts of your body. If the skin is broken, then some bleeding can occur. The skin on our lips is very thin and delicate, so it doesn’t take a lot of force to open the skin. This happens often with activities, including:
- Playing Sports
- Stress biting
Your lip might be quick to bleed, but this also means it’s quick to heal. There are a lot of blood vessels near the surface of your skin, so these wounds will heal faster than other parts of your body with thicker skin. Typically, these types of wounds heal within a week or two. However, depending on the force of the bite, it could lead to the development of other injuries, such as:
- Canker Sores
- Mucus-filled cyst
How to Treat a Bit Lip
- It’s a good idea to check any mouth injuries for any dirt or debris that could inhibit healing or cause infection. Clean the lip wound as best you can with a clean cloth and cold water. If there is any debris that is stuck, do not remove it. Seek medical attention and have a medical professional help remove anything stuck in the wound.
- Apply a cold compress or clean cloth to the afflicted area and apply pressure to help stop bleeding. If the bleeding continues, apply new material and continue applying pressure.
- Once the bleeding ceases, wrap an ice cube in cloth or use an ice pack and apply it to your lip. It will help reduce swelling and provide some pain relief.
If you’re still experiencing pain, take anti-inflammatory over-the-counter pain medication that can help provide some pain relief and reduce swelling.
Other Ways to Promote Healing
Some of these methods can help your lip injury heal faster and prevent infection:
- Rinse your wound using saltwater—saltwater can help provide pain relief and protect the injury from harmful bacteria.
- Ice packs/Ice cubes—any type of cold compress wrapped in a clean cloth can aid in reducing swelling.
- Oral antiseptic gel—these gels help relieve pain and fight infection-causing bacteria.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If within a week your lip hasn’t improved, this could be a sign of a bit lip infection. Other signs of infection include:
- Increased Redness
- Increased Sensitivity to Pain
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend that you visit your closest medical center to see if you have an infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics. It’s possible some debris got stuck in the injury and developed into an infection that requires medical attention.
Neighbors is Always Open
In your time of need, Neighbors Emergency Center is ready to provide you or your loved ones with exceptional care. Whether you’ve injured your lip in an accident or need assistance in treating a potential infection, we got you covered. We provide high-level adult and pediatric care around the clock, with no wait. Visit our website to find our closest location near you.