U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
Canada
A 27-year-old female asked:

I fell last night on my face and my bottom lip is extremely swollen and bruised. there is also a cut from my tooth puncturing my lip. what should i do?

5 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Susan Rhoads
Family Medicine 39 years experience
Ice: After 4-8 hours, it is too late for stitches (not that these are always necessary). Get a tetanus shot within 72 hours if you are not current. Ice as needed (30 minutes max, off an hour) for comfort. Tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain. If you have a loose tooth or increasing pain or signs of concussion get seen today. Otherwise, rinse mouth with warm salt water 4 times/day and try to avoid getting food into the cut.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Susan Rhoads
Family Medicine 39 years experience
Provided original answer
Dr, Abion is right, too. It does depend on size, shape and extent of wound. A serious wound can be closed later than 6-8 hours. Call your doc or dentist or get seen if it is large (over .25 inch and jagged and gaping open. I was envisioning a small linear cut that was already closed from the swelling, but that is the best case scenario.
Nov 27, 2014
Dr. Glynis Ablon
Dermatology 30 years experience
See doctor as: you may need stitches and this needs to be done within 24 hours of injury, also use ice.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Susan Rhoads
Family Medicine 39 years experience
You are correct, Dr. Abion. I was thinking of the ones I usually see and answered too quickly.
Nov 27, 2014
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
Dentistry 46 years experience
Be seen: Sometimes a fall and cut like that may not require stitches, but it is very possible it may, so see someone right away so that the healing will not be jeopardized.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Susan Rhoads
Family Medicine 39 years experience
I did take my answer back, see above. You are right.
Nov 27, 2014
Dr. Frances Ilozue
Family Medicine 26 years experience
Get checked: I assume you're not bleeding and not in acute distress. If your PCP is not available to access your injury today, go to Urgent care or ER.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Susan Rhoads
Family Medicine 39 years experience
I agree, and I took my answer back. See above. Better safe than sorry.
Nov 27, 2014
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 37 years experience
Trauma to the lip: is quite common. If not bleeding rinsing 4-6 times per day with warm salt water, NSAIDs OTC or Tylenol, (acetaminophen) and apply Ambesol. Small puncture wounds in the lip usually heal without any treatment other than home remedies.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Susan Rhoads
Family Medicine 39 years experience
Thanks, Dr. Grin. Small cuts were what I was thinking about above too. Clearly big gaping wounds need evaluation!
Nov 27, 2014
Dr. Paul Grin
Dr. Paul Grin commented
Pain Management 37 years experience
Provided original answer
Most of these cuts don't go through the lip and do not need sutures. However, agree with Dr. Susan Rhoads the post traumatic evaluation is warranted.
Nov 27, 2014
Last updated Apr 24, 2016

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.