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Cut, Puncture, or Tear Inside Your Mouth or on Your Lip


Cut, Puncture, or Tear Inside Your Mouth or on Your Lip

A cut or puncture inside your mouth may bleed a lot, even after a minor injury, because there are many blood vessels inside of the mouth. You can usually stop any bleeding if you apply firm pressure with a piece of cotton gauze for about 15 minutes. Be sure to review first aid measures to stop bleeding. If first aid does not stop the bleeding, medical care is required.

A cut, puncture, or tear inside your mouth may require stitches. Deep cuts are likely to need stitches and should generally be stitched within 6 to 8 hours after the injury to reduce the risk of infection. This risk increases the longer the cut remains untreated. Some cuts may be able to be stitched up to 24 hours later.

Stitches are not usually needed when you tear the skin between your lips and gums or between your tongue and the floor of your mouth (frenulum). The frenulum will usually heal on its own.

A cut or puncture in the back of your throat or mouth (soft palate) can cause:

  • Swelling or bleeding, leading to serious breathing problems.
  • Infection and other problems, not only at the site of your injury but also in deeper areas in your head and neck.

If the cut or puncture inside your mouth was caused by piercing of the tongue, inner cheek, lip, or uvula, problems can develop.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Last RevisedSeptember 14, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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