Lip Biting

One unfortunately common finding observed by us is the patient who bites his/her lip while numb. Typically, the patient attempts to eat something and inadvertenly makes a meal out of his/her lip or tongue! We see this in both adults and children.

Lip Biting Photo #1

Photo of Lip Biting patient who bit his lip while numb after dentist

The results of lip biting. Photo and subsequent treatment by Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra.

The patient above received dental work on the lower right. 24 hours later, he returned, and this is what we saw. We observed the characteristic white, ulcerated tissue with a reddish halo surrounding it. Nearly all instances of lip, tongue or cheek biting while numb present like this.

Lip Biting Photo #2

Detailed photograph and picture of lip biting while numb at dentist

This patient bit both sides of her lower lip. Photo and subsequent treatment by Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra.

This patient was numb on both sides of her lip for extractions. She unfortunately bit both sides of her lip. As you can see, it is very swollen. Despite the scary appearance, the patient healed nicely and completely!

Lip Biting Treatment

If you are diagnosed with a wound as a result of biting, we typically do the following:

  • Prescribe an ointment that contains both a topical anesthetic (to relieve pain) and a corticosteroid (to reduce inflammation and swelling).
  • May recommend an orally administered pain reliever.
  • Monitor the area for possible infections.

Infections are very rare but we do have to keep an eye out for them.