Cuts in Mouth: Causes & How to Heal Them


Cuts in the mouth are a common occurrence. From small scrapes and nicks to larger gashes, they can be an unwelcome and sometimes painful disruption to your day. Even though our mouths heal faster than other parts of the body due to a rich blood supply, knowing how to effectively manage oral wounds is crucial to prevent infection and complications.

We’ll explore common reasons for cuts in the mouth, at-home treatments, and when it’s time to seek medical care from an emergency dentist.

Common Reasons for Cuts in the Mouth

There are various reasons you may suffer a cut in your mouth.

      • Accidental Bite: This is probably the most common cause. While talking or eating, it’s easy to accidentally bite the inside of your cheek, lip, or tongue.

      • Broken Teeth: Broken or chipped teeth can have sharp edges that can cause a cut in your mouth.

      • Braces: Orthodontic braces, retainers, or other dental appliances can sometimes rub against your cheek or lip, causing irritation and even cuts.

      • Sports Injuries: Physical sports without the use of a mouth guard can lead to mouth injuries, including cuts.

      • Eating Hard or Sharp Foods: Some foods like chips or crackers can be sharp and cause minor cuts in the mouth.

    At-Home Treatment For Oral Cuts

    If you sustain a cut in your mouth, the first step is to remain calm. Then, follow these simple steps:

        1. Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water). This can help clean the wound and promote healing.

        1. Apply pressure with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops.

        1. Apply an ice cube or cold compress to the affected area to help reduce swelling and slow any bleeding.

        1. Over-the-counter painkillers, oral gel, or ointments can provide relief from discomfort and create a protective barrier for the wound.

      Things to Avoid If You Have a Mouth Wound

      While your mouth is healing from a cut or injury, you should avoid the following, as they may cause additional mouth pain:

          • spicy foods

          • acidic foods

          • salty foods

          • very hot foods

          • citrus fruits

          • alcoholic beverages

          • very hot beverages like coffee or tea

          • any other irritating foods such as potato chips or other crunchy foods

        Instead, stick to bland, soft foods and drink plenty of water in order to remove excess food particles and prevent bacterial infections.

        When to Seek Emergency Care for a Mouth Cut

        While minor cuts in the mouth usually heal on their own within a week, some instances require immediate medical attention:

            1. If the cut is large, deep, or you have severe bleeding that doesn’t stop after 10-15 minutes of applying pressure, it’s time to see an emergency dentist.

            1. If you start to see signs of infection, such as increased pain, swelling, redness, or pus.

            1. If the cut was caused by a traumatic injury, like a sports accident or fall, especially if there may be other facial wounds or a tooth is knocked out or damaged.

            1. If the cut is causing severe pain or you’re having difficulty opening and closing your mouth.

          Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with oral injuries.

          Ways to Avoid Mouth Cuts

          Maintaining oral health and avoiding injuries that may cause cuts in the mouth involves a combination of everyday habits, preventative measures, and regular dental check-ups. Here are some ways to avoid mouth cuts:

              • Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brushing and flossing daily can prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can cause sensitivity or oral sores. Regular check-ups will also ensure any broken or chipped teeth are repaired promptly.

              • Be Mindful While Eating: Biting the inside of your mouth can cause cuts and ulcers. Try to eat slowly and chew your food carefully to avoid accidental bites.

              • Choose Soft Foods: If you’re prone to cuts, try to avoid eating hard, crunchy, or sharp foods like chips, popcorn, or hard candy.

              • Use Mouth Guards: If you play sports, especially contact sports, use a mouthguard. This protective device can prevent teeth from chipping and causing cuts, as well as protect against more severe mouth injuries.

              • Wear a Night Guard: If you grind your teeth at night (a condition known as bruxism), wearing a night guard can protect your teeth from becoming sharp and causing cuts to the inner cheeks or tongue.

              • Keep Dental Appliances Smooth: If you wear dentures, braces, or retainers, make sure they fit correctly and are kept smooth. Poorly fitting or sharp dental appliances can cause cuts and sores in your mouth.

              • Avoid Oral Piercings: Lip or tongue piercings can often lead to cuts, sores, or infections inside your mouth.

            Contact Olympic View Dental if You Need Care For a Cut In Mouth

            Your oral health is our priority at Olympic View Dental. Whether you need routine dental care or find yourself facing an oral health emergency, our team of highly trained dental professionals is ready to provide you with the best possible care.

            Don’t wait until a small problem becomes a major one. If you have a cut in your mouth that needs professional attention, contact us immediately. Trust us to help you get back to health and to get your smile back on track.

            Injuries can happen at any time, but remember, Olympic View Dental is always here to help.


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