Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

Loading

Lip and Tongue Swelling

By

Bernard J. Hennessy

, DDS, Texas A&M University, College of Dentistry

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
Click here for the Professional Version
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Topic Resources

An allergic reaction can make the lips swell. The reaction may be caused by sensitivity to certain foods or beverages, drugs, lipstick, or airborne irritants. But frequently, the cause of the swelling remains a mystery.

A condition called hereditary angioedema may cause recurring bouts of swelling. Nonhereditary conditions—such as erythema multiforme, sunburn, cold and dry weather, or trauma—may also cause the lips to swell. Lip swelling on its own is not dangerous. However, when lip swelling is caused by angioedema, an accompanying swelling in the mouth, throat, and/or lower airways can be fatal.

Treatment depends on the cause. When a cause can be identified and then eliminated, the lips usually return to normal. A corticosteroid ointment is sometimes used to reduce swelling caused by an allergic reaction. Occasionally, excess lip tissue may be removed surgically to improve appearance.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read

Also of Interest

3D Models
View All
Inside the Tooth
3D Model
Inside the Tooth

SOCIAL MEDIA

TOP