May also be called: Cut
An open wound of the mouth means a cut or puncture to the lips, inner cheeks, floor, or roof or back of the mouth.
Cuts of the upper or lower lip in children are usually due to falls. Pulling on the injured lip to inspect the wound can make bleeding worse.
Puncture wounds of the back of the throat and soft palate sometimes happen when a child falls with an object (like a pencil or toothbrush) in the mouth. These wounds can be serious.
Many mouth wounds heal without stitches. However, seek immediate medical attention for bleeding that will not stop, gaping wounds, cuts through the border of the lip, injury to the back of the throat or palate, or wounds that cause severe pain and difficulty breathing or swallowing.
After a child receives medical attention for a mouth wound, follow instructions carefully to prevent infection and minimize scarring to the lips. Infections of mouth injuries are rare, but can happen.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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