12 causes of swollen lips

In most cases, swollen lips are caused by factors that can be controlled without any problem. Still, watch out for additional symptoms.

Last update: 26 March, 2022

Almost everyone has had swollen lips at some point. This inflammation is caused by a large number of factors.. From a blow to an allergic reaction, through an oral problem.

Although swollen lips should not be a cause for concern in principle, it is not a symptom that should be ignored either. If the swelling is very prominent, is accompanied by other symptoms, or lasts a long time, medical intervention is needed.

In most cases it is possible to solve the problem with some homemade measure, such as cold compresses. Other times it is only necessary to avoid contact with certain agents. Let’s look at the main causes of this problem.

1. Weather

The temperature of the environment influences the state of the lips. Too much heat or excessive cold can result in swollen lips or cracked. This affects some people more, but in all cases it is recommended to keep the area moisturized and hydrated.

2. Injury or bruise

Bumps on the lips are another cause of swelling. Many times they go unnoticed, but their effect is manifested as inflammation. It is not uncommon for a person to accidentally bite their lips.

Exposure to extreme temperatures is capable of inflaming the lips if sufficient precautions are not taken.

3. Dryness or burn

Lips also swell when someone spends a lot of time in the sun. This causes a burn and one of its symptoms is inflammation.

It also happens when you drink something too hot. Even acidic or spicy foods generate this effect, as is the case with lemon or pineapple.

4. Chemical reaction

Caustic chemicals can lead to swollen lips. Many times you come into contact with them through cleaning substances that splash and reach the mouth area. They are usually accompanied by blisters and cause pain and burning.

5. Allergies

Allergies are one of the most common causes. When the allergen is a food, the swelling appears within 2 hours, on average.

If it is another agent, such as a drug or a plant, the reaction may be seen more quickly. If there is difficulty breathing, you should go to an emergency room.

6. Infections

The most common infection in this area is oral herpes.. In this case there is an injury with small blisters, a tingling sensation and numbness.

The usual thing is that only one of the lips is inflamed. Other infections, such as candidiasis, also cause the lips to swell.

7. Mucocele

A mucocele is a lump that appears in the mouth and very often causes the lips to swell. It cannot be exploited, because it is in the inner layers of the skin.

It is the result of a ruptured blood vessel or a severe blow. Sometimes it goes away on its own, but it can also become chronic. It does not cause other symptoms.

8. Oral problems

Dental abscesses or phlegmons are concentrations of pus. They generate a lot of pain and inflammation in the surrounding area. Typically, in these cases There are also small bumps on the gums.

9. Impetigo

Swollen lips can also be caused by impetigo.. This is an infectious skin disease that causes multiple fluid-filled blisters. When these dry, a yellowish crust appears. It is more common in children.

10. Orthodontics

During the period of adaptation to orthodontic appliances, swollen lips may occur. This is especially the case if it is braces. It is usual that at first the rubbing of these with the oral mucosa causes inflammation, canker sores or sores.

11. Stress

Swollen lips can also be a reaction of the body to stress. Similarly, states of anxiety increase bruxism or involuntary grinding of the teeth, and one of its effects could be lip swelling.

12. Other causes

In addition to the factors already mentioned, other possible causes of swollen lips are the following:

  • Preeclampsia.
  • Use of piercings.
  • Cancer in the mouth.
  • Insect bite.
  • Hepatic, renal or cardiac insufficiency.
The jewelry that is placed on the lips can have an adverse effect of some immediacy with inflammation of the area.

What to do with swollen lips?

Treatment of swollen lips depends on the cause. If the origin is a trauma or a burn, it is enough to apply cold compresses to the area to achieve relief and deflation.

Yes or yes, you should consult a doctor in these 4 situations:

  1. When the swollen lips remain for more than 3 days.
  2. There is swelling in the face or in other parts of the body.
  3. If there is difficulty breathing.
  4. Fever occurs.

In case there are dental problems, it is advisable to visit the dentist as soon as possible. Poor oral health doesn’t just lead to swollen lips, it can have more serious consequences.

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