Seeing or feeling that you’ve got a mouth injury can be a disturbing, uncomfortable realization. Although they’re not as common as other types of injuries to the mouth, cuts on the gums sometimes happen.
Because the gums are part of the mouth’s soft tissues, they are delicate and vulnerable to injury. It’s therefore important to know how to quickly treat a wound and prevent it from infection.
In this post, we’ll show you how you can effectively treat cuts on the gums. Next, we’ll tell you when you should opt to visit a medical professional instead of attempting treatment on your own.
Why Are There Cuts On My Gums?
You can trace any cuts to the outside of the mouth or face to some physical impact or injury, but it’s more difficult to pinpoint the cause of cuts to the gums.
Your gums can get wounded if you fall, suffer a physical injury while engaging in sports, or if they encounter a sharp object inside the mouth. This sharp object does not necessarily have to be as sharp as a knife since the gums are very soft and sensitive. It could simply be the result of using a toothbrush with kinked, damaged, or very hard bristles, flossing your teeth too vigorously, or using a toothpick. People who habitually chew on their pens or pencils may also accidentally suffer cuts on their gums due to splintering.
There may be a lot of bleeding from the cut. This is normal, as the gums are richly supplied with blood, just like other soft tissues of the mouth. So, the first step is to control the bleeding.
Step 1: Stop The Cut from Bleeding
The first thing you should focus on is stopping the bleeding.
Rinse your mouth with cold water. This will promote tissues to contract and clean any foreign debris that may have entered the wound. Do this a couple of times.
Then, gently use a clean paper towel or cloth to cover the area of the gums for about 10 minutes. This should help soak up excess blood and stop the bleeding.
Step 2: Prevent Gum Infection
After a cut to the gums, you should be on the lookout for gum infection. That said, a saltwater rinse is a great way to keep your cut free of germs and discourage infection.
Take a cup of warm water and add a teaspoon of salt to it, mixing well. Then, rinse your mouth with it for several seconds.
It would be best if you did this for a few days after you’ve experienced the cut, as the wound heals – especially after meals. Mouthwash may be too irritating and painful to use, but saltwater is an effective alternative.
Step 3: Managing The Healing Process
Fortunately, the upside is that while the gums may bleed a lot due to their significant blood supply, they’re also more likely to heal quickly because of it. Therefore, a small cut on the gums can heal in less than a week, provided there is no infection, and the cut isn’t big enough to require stitches.
You might experience some swelling in the area as the gums heal and notice the formation of white tissue on top of it. This is normal, associated with the healing process, and should subside in a few days. To alleviate inflammation and pain, you can take an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol.)
Conclusion: When To Consult A Dentist About Cuts On Gums
You might not be able to treat a cut on the gums effectively at home if:
- The cut is too big (over ½ an inch)
- The cut was because of a bite by a human or animal.
- The person with the cut has not had an updated tetanus shot.
- The cut was caused by a rusty or dirty object.
- The cut appears like it’s infected: symptoms include increased swelling, pain getting worse, pus formation, fever, and chills.
If any of these are true, you’re best off visiting a qualified dental professional who can appropriately treat the injury. Preventing infection within the oral cavity is incredibly important. If an infection happens to spread, it could cause sepsis, which could be a life-threatening medical emergency.
If you live in San Diego or in the vicinity, head to Nimmi Shine Dental for treatment of this problem. Contact the dentist near San Diego at 858-999-8550. to schedule an appointment. We’re here to provide the dental care you need.