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First Aid - Bleeding Mouth
Types of Mouth Injuries
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MINOR MOUTH INJURIES|
- Stop the Bleeding - Upper Lip and Frenulum:
- Cuts of the inside of the upper lip are very common.
- Usually the piece of tissue that connects the upper lip to the upper gum (upper labial frenulum) is torn.
- The main symptom is oozing tiny amounts of blood.
- This cut always heals perfectly without sutures.
- For bleeding from the frenulum, press the overlying outer lip against the teeth for 10 minutes.
- Caution: Once bleeding from inside the lip stops, don't pull the lip out again to look at it. (Reason: the bleeding will start up again).
- It's safe to look at it after 3 days.
- Stop the Bleeding - Lower Lip:
- Most children who fall and bite their lower lip cause cuts to both the outside and inside of the lip.
- Two cuts occur because the lower lip is trapped between the upper and lower teeth during the fall (especially in children with an overbite).
- These small cuts do not connect with each other.
- For bleeding from the lip, press the overlying outer lip against the teeth for 10 minutes.
- Stop the Bleeding -Tongue:
- Bites of the tongue rarely need sutures.
- Even if they gape open a little, if the edges come together when the tongue is quiet, the cut should heal quickly.
- For initial bleeding from the tongue, try to squeeze or press the bleeding site with a sterile gauze (or piece of clean cloth) for 5 minutes if it's practical.
- Cuts of the tongue normally tend to ooze a little blood for several hours (Reason: rich blood supply)
- For persistent oozing of blood, can apply a moistened tea bag for 10 minutes. (Reason: tannic acid released from the tea bag may stop the oozing).
- Local Cold: Put a piece of ice or popsicle on the area that was injured for 20 minutes.
- Pain Medicine: If there is pain, give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen.
- Soft Diet:
- Encourage favorite fluids to prevent dehydration. Cold drinks, milkshakes and popsicles are especially good.
- Offer a soft diet. (Avoid foods that need much chewing)
- Avoid any salty or citrus foods that might sting.
- Rinse the wound with warm water immediately after meals.
- Expected Course: Small cuts and scrapes inside the mouth heal up in 3 or 4 days. Infections of mouth injuries are rare.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Area looks infected (mainly increasing pain or swelling after 48 hours)
- Fever occurs
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 11/14/2011
Last Revised: 11/14/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.