Boxing is one of the most demanding sports our bodies endure. Both parties will walk away from the fight with cuts, bruises and swelling. It is the nature of the sport. Athletes and trainers are used to the extra care during and after a fight. When cuts happen during the fight, bleeding can seem overwhelming. The boxer has been working hard, elevating their heart rate and blood pressure, causing their heart to pump harder. Despite wearing a mouthguard, injuries to the lips and inside of the mouth still occur if the opponent lands a hit on the boxer’s face. Here are some helpful hints for taking care of mouth injuries after a fight.
1. Keep It Clean
It is vital to keep a cut anywhere on your body clean. If bacteria get into the affected area, the injury can become infected, making healing much more challenging and slower. A sore in your mouth after a fight can be very bothersome, maybe even more annoying than other bruises or soreness throughout your whole body. You must wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before inspecting any of your injuries, especially ones in your mouth. Inner mouth cuts can heal faster if you keep your mouth clean. Using mouthwash to rinse your mouth can help keep your whole mouth, the cut included, clean. You may be hesitant thinking Why Does Mouthwash Burn? It can be depending on the type, but there are many different mouthwash solutions you can choose from to avoid the burning sensation. Not all of them will burn as you swish the solution around.
Brushing your teeth, gums and tongue well twice per day is imperative to keep your mouth clean so that your cuts can heal. It may hurt or irritate your injury while you brush your teeth but avoiding this oral hygiene task can allow germs and plaque to build up, which can cause infection and slow down healing. Rinsing with salt water is another helpful hint to promote the healing of mouth cuts.
If you notice blood in your mouth while inside the ring, you can rinse with water thoroughly to clean the cut and remove any debris. If it is actively bleeding, apply pressure with a clean towel. Do not remove this pressure until the bleeding stops. At this point, you probably have to continue the fight and hopefully, the cut will not open more or start bleeding again. After the match, you can have a popsicle or suck on ice to help with pain or swelling inside your mouth. Applying ice to all of your fighting injuries, especially those on your hands, can help to reduce swelling and soreness.
During the healing process, avoid spicy or citrus foods that will burn the area. As much as you may want to touch the area, avoid touching it, especially if you have not washed your hands properly. Try to keep your tongue out of the affected area and let it heal undisturbed.
Boxers have a lot of experience with cuts and swelling. Mouthguards are helpful for preventing oral damage but cannot prevent scratches to the lips or inside of the mouth. Typically cuts inside of the mouth heal pretty fast on their own. This is because there is a large blood supply and the tissue inside of our mouths regenerates new cells at a faster pace than most other tissue in our body. The increased vasculature is also why mouth injuries can bleed so much when they first occur. The saliva in our mouths also helps the cuts to heal because it contains proteins that facilitate tissue repair. As a boxer, you are going to get more oral cuts than individuals who do not box simply due to the intensity of the sport. While these cuts can be painful and bothersome, you can usually keep the area clean and let it heal on its own. Cuts inside of the mouth rarely require you to seek medical attention unless you cannot get the bleeding to stop. The next time you get one of these injuries while fighting or training, try these techniques for less pain, irritation and swelling.
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