How does our mouth fix tissue damage without scabbing?


Something I’ve always been curious about is how cuts or burns inside of your mouth heal without forming a hard scab like you would get on your skin. Does blood clot differently in our mouths?

In: 3024


Omg something I can answer.

So the short answer is it DOES scab.

But the clot, since it’s wet always, doesn’t have an outer layer because it washes off. Imagine if you get a paper cut and then hold it under running water for 3 hours. It still clots, but the clot is internal only — you wouldn’t be able to see it.

As a side note your mouth also scars, but the tissue generates WAY faster than your skin so it isn’t as noticeable — something like 1/8th the amount of a skin scar.

I’m a dentist.

Edit: you CAN see a clot if it’s big enough — like when you get a tooth pulled.

You don’t need a hard scab to heal. Notice how your wounds on your skin stop bleeding before they get a hard outer layer? Moreover, they actually heal better without the scab. That’s why fancy bandages like hydrocolloid ones keep the area moist, not dry. (Not all wounds are better off this way of course)

Scabs are interesting. Remember your entire body is moist with one exception: the skin. In particular, the outer layer which is really just dead skin cells. Cells die unless they are kept moist. So if you damage your skin and expose the juicy inside , you now have a problem, the exposed tissue will quickly dry out and die. To seal off the injury, your body starts oozing out various chemicals which aren’t exactly a clot .. a clot is coagulated blood which is more like jelly and is designed to stop bleeding. If you’ve ever skinned your knees you know at first it bleeds but the bleeding quickly stop. In fact you can clean off a wound and it will form a scab without any blood at all. The scab blocks bacteria from getting in and most importantly keeps the tissue underneath from drying out.

A injury in your mouth doesn’t have to worry about drying out as much so the healing is a little different. If you cut your oral mucosa, no scab can form because there is a continuous flow of saliva . This means the skin cells must much more quickly regrow as the wound is essentially open the entire time.