Image Dental Blog


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Common Problems Arising from Sports-Related Lip Injury

In a vast majority of high-contact sports, the face is usually the most exposed part of the body, which increases the risk of injuries to the soft tissues of the face. Typical injuries occur over a bony prominence of the facial skeleton, such as the cheek, chin, and brow, and may include contusions, abrasions, and lacerations. These orofacial injuries are particularly common among student athletes aged 15 to 18 years.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) claims that most sports-related injuries affect the mouth, and more specifically, the upper lip, maxillary (upper) incisors, and the upper jaw (maxilla).
Types of Sports-Related Lip Injuries
Your lips comprise three key layers: the skin, the muscle, and the mucous membrane that lines the inside of the mouth known as the oral mucosa. Lips observe a considerable amount of blood flow, so when they are severed, compression should be done promptly. But considering the pressure, the cut can continue to bleed for 5 – 10 minutes. 
Besides bleeding, lip injuries can also cause:
      Pain or numbness in the lips
      Bruising – an indication of bleeding underneath the skin that should subside in 1-2 weeks
      Swelling – could conceal more serious injuries underneath
Mucosal Lacerations
Simple facial lacerations are minor injuries, though they can also be serious if internal injury has occurred. A serious mucosal laceration could occur in the form of an injury in the mucous membrane inside the mouth that creates a flap, impeding your ability to chew. Some forms of mucosal lacerations can trap food in your mouth, especially if the internal injury is longer than two centimeters. So, it is important to get this kind of injury checked by a dental specialist for more advanced treatment.
Implications on Your Oral Health 
Lip injuries can adversely affect your overall oral health in a number of ways. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), some lip injuries can alter the structure of your teeth and interfere with your ability to close your mouth. Additionally, major internal cuts that trap food particles can cause a buildup of bacteria in your mouth, making you susceptible to a range of tooth and gum problems.
Some lip injuries can occur when you bite your lip, like during impact, sometimes chipping or knocking out a tooth in the process. Whatever the kind of injury, it should be checked by your dentist so that the right treatment can be administered to prevent an infection.
For first aid care, clean the wound with salt water or a mixture of equal portions of water and hydrogen peroxide, taking care not to swallow it.

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