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Whether minor or major, everyone has, or will have, an injury at one time or another. Cuts, breaks and bruises to any part of the body are not fun, but injuries to the mouth are particularly scary for some reason. So, it is important to know how to handle a dental emergency to reduce stress for yourself or the unfortunate victim you are helping.

In the case of a gum cut, they happen more often than you might imagine. For example, you may have had the bothersome experience of accidentally jamming your toothbrush into your gums while brushing a bit too vigorously, or spearing your palate on the pointy end of a dorito. While discomforting, these are minor annoyances that may cause some bleeding but are no reason to run to the emergency room. These kinds of cuts will heal on their own, but some severe kinds do need treatment.

It’s easy to wound the soft tissues in the mouth, including the gums, which can become lacerated due to their fragile nature. When a cut occurs, there may appear to be a lot of blood. Do not be overly concerned. This can be because of the blood mixing with saliva. First, you should rinse your mouth out with diluted saltwater or an antiseptic mouthwash to clean and sanitize the wound. Afterwards, apply pressure with a cold compress by wrapping ice in a washcloth. This will decrease swelling and inflammation and help stop bleeding. The cold restricts blood circulation, which in turn can numb the pain. It can also help limit any bruising. If you are treating a child, a good tip is to give them a popsicle.

If, after a normal amount of time has passed, the bleeding doesn’t stop, make an appointment with your dentist or take a trip to an emergency room. If the cut is too deep to heal on its own, you may require stitches.

If you would like more information about how to handle a dental emergency, call our helpful team at (225) 286-4800. Make an appointment or come by our office in Zachary, Louisiana.