Oral hematoma is not a very common problem. But, the people who develop it get worried a lot. So, let’s explore it in detail.
The definition of a hematoma is the collection of blood caused by an injury outside the blood vessels. The commonest cause of a hematoma is an injury. When the blood vessel walls are injured, blood is promptly released onto the surrounding parts of the tissues around the injured area.
A Hematoma can develop from an injury to any blood vessel found in the body. The major blood vessels include small capillaries, veins, and arteries. Unlike a hemorrhage, a hematoma describes bleeding that causes clots around the affected area. A hematoma is a problem a majority of people experience once in their lifetime.
The size of a hematoma depends on the injury level around the afflicted area. A hematoma is observed under the nails or skin, and the hematoma present appears to have a purplish color.
The skin bruises that appear after a hematoma occurs are also known as contusions. However, a hematoma can also occur inside the body and become unknown to the patient until the condition becomes worse.
Severe cases of hematoma can present themselves in the form of a mass or a lump. The lumps or masses appear based on the location of the injury. These lumps are dangerous since they prevent the proper circulation of blood around the affected area. Like mentioned earlier, a hematoma can occur in any part of the body.
It can occur in the ear, leg, spleen, liver, or the mouth. Each hematoma has a unique medical term that differentiates it from the other hematoma. Some of the hematomas resolve themselves over time while others require medical intervention for the body to recover.
The above introduction on hematoma will help you understand what an oral hematoma is, its causes and how best to treat the condition.
An oral hematoma is formed when then the blood forms a pocket in the oral cavity space known as the extravascular space. Oral hematoma includes lip hematoma, hematoma in mouth, and hematoma on roof of mouth.
Causes of Oral Hematoma:
The main cause of oral hematoma is an injury outside or inside the mouth. An oral hematoma is one of the major complications that arise after undergoing a major oral or dental surgery.
The damage of the blood vessels arises from a needle prick during the anaesthesia procedure or while the dentist drills the mouth with a knife. Another cause for an oral hematoma is biting yourself on the cheek.
It is, however, crucial to note that the risk of an oral hematoma increases if the patient is consuming medication that helps to thin blood. Some examples of thinning blood medication include aspirin and heparin among others.
Heparin assists in the prevention of the blood from clotting and this can be a risk especially when a patient is undergoing oral surgery.
The prevention of blood from clotting due to the consumption of blood thinning medication increase the chances of the formation of an oral hematoma.
Certain blood disorders also cause hematoma in mouth. These blood disorders affect the clotting mechanism of the body making it quite easy for an oral hematoma to form.
Unlike other types of hematoma, an oral hematoma is self-resolving and only takes a few days or weeks to heal. However, if the hematoma enlarges or becomes extremely painful refer to your oral surgeon.
Symptoms of Oral Hematoma:
A hematoma is similar to a bruise, but it comes with a large bulge due to the amount of blood collecting around the tissues in the affected area. A hematoma is visible and sensitive to the touch.
Like any other hematoma, the severity of the injury to the blood vessel dictates the size of the oral hematoma. However, the major difference between an oral hematoma and any other hematoma is that it is not visible.
An oral hematoma can occur inside the mouth, on the floor of the mouth, on the roof of the mouth, or inside the gums. However, it rarely develops on the roof of the mouth due to the tissue density. Some of the common symptoms of an oral hematoma include:
- The discolouration of the mucus or skin membrane. The skin membrane changes to purple or blue.
- If the hematoma is large, the patient may experience pain. The pain is a result of the large hematoma compressing the nearby nerves and tissues around the affected area.
- Swelling around the affected area
- Bleeding of the gums if the oral hematoma develop inside the gums
- Difficulty while chewing solid food. The difficulty arises from the pain and swelling the hematoma causes to the mouth.
- Sensitivity to touch
The pain and swelling a patient experiences while suffering from an oral hematoma reduces over some weeks. However, the recovery process depends on the size and location of the hematoma in the mouth.
Treatment of an Oral Hematoma:
Like mentioned earlier, and oral hematoma does resolve itself but treating the condition makes the recovery process fast. However, the proper treatment of an oral hematoma depends on the location of the hematoma in mouth.
For instance, how you treat a hematoma on roof of mouth would not be the same way you treat a lip hematoma.
Every location of a hematoma in mouth requires special treatment. The first part of treating lip hematoma involves using cold compresses to help suppress the swelling symptom of a lip hematoma.
The use of a cold compress on the injured area should be done in intervals of 15 minutes to prevent frostbite on the lip.
If the lip hematoma is not serious then, you can opt to apply gel or a powder form of anti-inflammatory that will help you get rid of the swelling around the area. A lip hematoma damages the tissues around the lip; therefore, you can use special lead water.
The special lead water is available in a chemist, and it helps in the recovery process of the tissues around the affected area.
However, if the lip hematoma is severe, then surgical intervention is the most appropriate treatment for the condition. The operation helps prevent the disruption of normal functioning of the oral cavity and the lip by prompting the formation of calcification or a scar.
Apart from surgery and the use of medication, there are other available home remedies for treating a lip hematoma.
Home remedies for Lip Hematoma:
The use of honey and aloe. Aloe is crushed and then mixed with honey to form a paste. You then apply the paste to the affected area.
A mixture of castor oil, honey, and polynia is mixed with crushed grass. The ointment is then applied to the affected area twice a day for around 15 minutes. The ointment helps to get rid of the symptoms a lip hematoma causes.
Treatments for Hematoma in mouth:
A hematoma on roof of mouth and hematoma in mouth use the same treatment methods. These treatment methods include:
The use of an ice pack at the initial stage of an oral hematoma helps reduce the swelling. Reducing the swelling caused by the compression of nerves and tissues by the blood helps make it easy for the hematoma to start healing.
However, if the size of the oral hematoma is large, then oral surgery is a requirement. Oral surgery will help drain the blood surrounding the affected area. It will also enable the patient to start eating and chewing without pain.
The use of anti-inflammatory medicine helps in treating small size oral hematoma. However, ensure that you visit your physician before using anti-inflammatory medicine on a hematoma. Some anti-inflammatory medicine contains blood thinning properties that make them dangerous for use when treating a hematoma.
You can also utilize some natural home remedies. Mixing honey and turmeric in a glass of milk helps in accelerating the healing process of an oral hematoma. Honey and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties that will help reduce the swelling.
The use of homoeopathic medicine will also aid in the treatment of an oral hematoma. Homoeopathic medicine includes Ruta and arnica. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the inflammation an oral hematoma causes. They also aid in the reduction of pain.
Using antibiotics will help prevent bacterial infection in the affected area. However, it is important to keep in mind that a hematoma inside the gums requires urgent treatment since the tissues and nerves surrounding the nerves may take longer to heal due to their location.
Oral hematoma may look like a small medical condition in comparison to other hematoma conditions. However, without proper treatment, the risk an oral hematoma poses to a patients comfort increases.
Therefore, ensure you consult your physician no matter how small the hematoma in mouth. Early treatment prevents plenty of complication shortly.
For an oral hematoma that does not resolve in time, surgery will help speed up its recovery process. The surgeon opens up the injured area, cleans the tissue, and then stitches the incision. After surgery, the recovery time is three months.
However, if it is possible preventing oral hematoma is the best way to ensure that your mouth is safe at all times.