The soft tissues of your mouth can become injured in a number of ways, which include: via an accidental cut, a burn, a viral sore, bacterial irritation of gum tissue (gingivitis), bacterial infection below the gum line (periodontitis), the natural loss or extraction of a tooth, eruption of teeth, an accidental blow to the mouth, oral surgery, or accidentally biting your tongue, lip, or inside cheek. The soft tissue of your mouth is full of capillaries. As soon as the tissue is breached, white blood cells rush to the site to fight bacteria and viruses. This natural physiological response by your immune system not only helps protect the traumatized area from damage, it also helps to protect all of the body’s organs from microbes entering the blood stream at the site of the breach.
Swelling occurs while white blood cells are building up at the site and helping the body heal. You will experience a rise in temperature in the area, redness, and tenderness. To alleviate swelling, you may apply an ice pack to the outside of the cheek or lips for 20 minutes at a time. In the case of a burn inside the mouth, ice water or a popsicle may provide relief. An over the counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen will also help.
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Dr. Alexander may suggest a soothing mouth rinse like Rincinol™ by GUM, or a medicinal gel like Canker-X™ by GUM. Both of these products are available over-the-counter in most pharmacies and markets, located in the toothbrush aisle.
Some facial and mouth injuries require dental or medical treatment. Please give the office of Jamie J. Alexander, D.D.S., a call if you have questions at (561) 739-4778. Dr. Alexander serves the greater South Palm Beach County area, including Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, and Boca Raton. If you are interested in scheduling a check-up or exam, please see our New Patient Information Center here.