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Accidents happen, and everyone will have to handle an injury of some sort or another in their lifetimes. Being prepared to take care of an oral emergency will make it less stressful for you or the unfortunate victim you are helping.

Cuts that occur on the gum tissue happen less frequently than a lot of other injuries, but more often than you might imagine. For instance, most people have had the jolting experience, when brushing their teeth a little too vigorously, where they accidentally jam the toothbrush into their gums. And who hasn’t at one time bitten down on a dorito and speared their palate on a pointy end? Although maddening, these are minor mishaps that easily heal on their own. But there are more serious gum cuts that can occur which do need treatment. Here is what to do.

The soft gum tissue is tender and delicate in nature, but can also heal quite quickly. If your gums are cut, it may appear that they bleed profusely. Remember that saliva is also mixing with the blood and don’t be too concerned. The first action you should take is to stand over a sink and rinse your mouth with diluted salt water. You can also use antiseptic mouthwash if you have it. Next, make a cold compress by wrapping ice in a washcloth (or a bag of frozen peas, etc), and hold it against the cut with gentle pressure. The cold will slow circulation, stop the bleeding, and decrease swelling, as well as numb any pain. If you are treating a child with a cut, give them a popsicle to suck on.

If the bleeding doesn’t subside after a reasonable amount of time, make an appointment to see your dentist or make a visit to an emergency clinic. The cut might be too deep to heal on its own and might require stitches.

If you would like more information about dental emergencies, call our helpful team at 252-633-2876. Make an appointment or come by our office in New Bern, North Carolina.