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Dentistry/Upper lip frenulum cut, what to do?


Well, I got hit by a hard soccer ball on the face (right side), dropped to the ground, and when I got out of the game right that instant, I went to spit out a huge amount of blood. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the fact I have BRACES.
I'm OK from the outside, just a scratch next to my nose, but I noticed that inside the mouth my FRENULUM (the little bridge between the gums and the upper lip) didn't stop my tongue when I passed through it, anymore... So yeah, it's basically cut pretty much in the middle. It's still there, dangling, but it's not holding the lip as it did before...
I spat out all the blood, got a lot of water in my mouth and spat, and repeat until no more blood.
The cut on the side of my lip is OK, kinda hurts, but looks like it will heal.
I'm just worried that I need to go to the dentist or something for the frenulum. I checked the Internet, and from what I could fine (very little info), it says that it's suppose to heal itself in a week.

Should I take medicine? Should I gargle and spit something? Will my frenulum be Ok? Or am I screwed? I've put ice in there, and brushed my teeth as usual, it only bleeds a little when I put some cloth in the frenulum.
I'd appreciate any info! Thank you!

Side note:
I awoke up the next day, and when I saw in the mirror, the back of the lip kind of went down when I smiled, it's not too bad, but it is kind of disappointing, because it looks weird... I hope it's just inflated because of the injury, and not permanent :(

Hi Jillian,

Oh My God!!  What happened?  Im sure it must have hurt when you got smacked on the side of the face with the soccer ball!

The good news is I think you are going to live.  And you have already done what any panic stricken brace wearing person would do.....research on the internet.  Just remember, you can't believe everything you read on the internet, but you may still learn something anyway.

I definitely think you should go to your dentist and have it looked at.  In fact, I would try to go to your orthodontist, so he/she can look at your frenulum AND your braces.  Did your orthodontist give you some wax?  Sometimes they give you wax to help soften all those sharp edges of your braces.

Probably the most important thing is to make sure you do not get an infection.  If it were me, I would get a very SOFT toothbrush and GENTLY brush my teeth. You don't want to cause any more ripping or tearing of that frenulum.  Maybe even use Listerine, to try and make sure your mouth stays fresh as possible until you get to the Dentist.

As far as your drooping lip.....not sure what is going to happen.  I am hoping that as your mouth heals, that the trauma will disappear from your lip and it returns to its normal position.

And please try not to get hit in the face with anymore soccer balls!!

Best regards
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Jonathan at PatientBabble


My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my bite problem. I am not a doctor, but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. ////// I come from a family of dentists. My first house growing up was one of those residential/dentist combination homes and I was around the dental practice all the time. My teeth had always been perfect, and in many respects they still are. I have never had a cavity and my teeth are straight. About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." I have learned a lot over the years as I tried to figure out my problem from the Dentists, Speech Pathologists and assorted doctors that I have visited. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.


Twenty-Five years ago after my wisdom teeth were removed, my bite did not feel right and then had trouble speaking. For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. The years of searching for proper treatment has underscored the importance of understanding the relationship between dental and speech methodologies.///// To this end, and to further my research, I recently attended the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention (ASHA) in Atlanta. At ASHA I learned about a specialty within Speech Pathology termed “Orofacial Myology”. In laymen's terms Orofacial Myology Disorder (OMD) deals with the establishment of correct functional activities of the tongue, lips and jaw. OMD is a motor speech disorder that impacts the normal flow of speech, chewing or swallowing.///// If you believe that your struggles with your teeth also present speech, chewing or swallowing challenges, you may want to seek out a licensed Speech Language Pathologist.....preferably one that has training with Orofacial Myology Disorder.

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Abridged Version of a Letter I Sent to a Health Care Professional (3/14/13): "..In my early 20's I had my wisdom teeth out. Almost immediately within a few days, something did not feel right in my mouth. I had trouble speaking. When I raised my tongue to try and touch my palate, I felt mostly just teeth. It is very cumbersome to talk and my bite also became a little bit off. If feels almost as if someone put a fork in my mouth and said "now try and speak." Very difficult. My articulation is fine, so to an observer I sound normal. But it takes a monumental effort, so I hate situations like talking on the phone or when somebody asks me to "tell them a story." ..I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. They just automatically gravitate to what they have heard about TMJ and assume I am either stressed, or just imagining it. Years later, I look back at all those dentists and doctors and I am amazed at how little they really knew about my condition. I have seen the best dentists, including my dad who is a Orthodontist in New York, to TMJ Dentists in Atlanta and Florida. No one ever suggested that Speech Pathology may be a direction I should explore. ..And I was frustrated by the fact that several MRI's over the years, showed nothing. How could the MRI’s show nothing, and at the same time, I know something does not feel right? I do wear a night guard to sleep in, but it does not fix the trouble that I have when I try to talk. ..I went with a Speech Pathologist friend of mine to the American Speech Language Hearing (ASHA) Convention last October in Atlanta...There was a Speech Pathologist at ASHA who was saying that sometimes when you have your Wisdom Teeth taken out "late" that it could possibly cause damage to the Trigeminal Nerve and surrounding muscles.” POSTSCRIPT: At ASHA, I discovered OROFACIAL MYOLOGY (OMD) which is a specialty in Speech Pathology that addresses Oral Muscular Issues.

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