Bottom lip swells in mouthpiece

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Elgin, May 19, 2011.

  1. Elgin

    Elgin New Friend

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    Here's a strange problem. After playing for a few minutes, my bottom lip swells just in the part that is in the mouthpiece. It raises up and turns lighter in color. This raised area interferes with the vibration point on the top lip. Any ideas or solutions to this problem?
     
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    "Don't do that" - should stop the problem.

    Actually, I haven't experienced what you describe but questions spring to mind:
    Are you allergic to any metal?
    If so, is this a new mouthpiece or is the plating wearing off an old one?
    Have you been eating spicy or salty foods before playing (e.g. crisps/chips)?
    What's your warm-up routine - anything changed there? (I presume you didn't always have this problem)
    By "playing" you don't mean belting the horn against your teeth? (just being silly, sorry)

    --bumblebee
     
  3. Elgin

    Elgin New Friend

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    Jun 13, 2009
    I know it's not from pressure, because it occurs even when using a no-pressure grip like Stevens or Pops (no grip, just resting the horn on the hand). It doesn't matter what I have eaten. My mp is a fairly new Warburton in perfect shape. And, yes, it's have been happening for a long time, I just haven't made a connection between the swelling and aperture vibration issues.
     
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I'm thinking - too much pressure -- the light color suggests that you are somehow cutting off the blood supply to that lip, and then it swells when you take the horn away and blood rushes back in to the lip --- but Hey I am not a doctor -- so take that advice as a suggestion.
    I know you said no pressure --- but I used to cram my lower lip in the mpc - to help with range (and though there wasn't much pressure - my lip was squished in the mpc anyhow, which actually didn't help))
     
  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Hm tricky... getting back to the allergy idea, is your new mouthpiece the same metal coating as the old? Maybe try out one of those plastic ones for a while... Or it could be unintended pressure as Kingtrumpet suggests. It probably is a good idea to get a trusted observer to watch your technique and tell you what they think.

    --bumblebee
     
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    For a decent diagnosis we would need to see a video.

    What are you actually doing as part of your playing ritual? Do you have a habit of touching your lip with your finger or something? If so, you might be introducing a contaminant (from your case, the doorknob, your neighbor's dog.....) to your lip which it is allergic to.
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Are there defects in the mouthpiece such as scratches, discolorations, etching?

    Have you just started playing?
    If this has not been a problem in the past, what has changed?

    A local response to your lip that is not diffuse, brings up the concern for contact dermititis, likely from nickel alloy. Again, damage to the mouthpiece, a new mouthpiece, cut or abrasion on the lip from a separate injury (that exposes an immune response that would have otherwise been protected by intact skin/mucosal surface.

    It is hard to make a definitive conclusion as there are still many unanswered questions, but near the top of my list is the possibility of a contact dermitis.
     
  8. Elgin

    Elgin New Friend

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    Thanks for all the info so far. Let me simplify this a little. Since the swelling only occurs on the botom lip, I think we can eliminate the allergies and rim imperfection issues.

    As far as when the lip actually swells. It swells WHILE I'm playing, not after I remove the mp. E.g. I play a phrase, pull the mouthpiece off, I immediately see the slight raised white-ish area just inside the bite of the rim on the bottom lip only. If I wait a few minutes or lip flapping, it begin to subside.

    I agree with kingtrumpet that I looks like the blood flow is being cut off. But, what to do. I'm already using only enough mp pressure to keep the air going into the mp.
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Thanks for this clarification as with your additional comments (and assuming there is no lower lip abrasions), it sounds like you are putting too much pressure on that lip. A good trumpet teacher watching you play will be the best person to advise on adjustments that should be made.
     
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    this is a great point -- I never realized how much valve oil gets all over the place until I switched from Al Cass to Zaja orange last year.
    Anyways when I get Zaja Orange on my fingers when oiling my horn, it is often transferred to my mpc (I can taste the orange better than Al Cass).
    ONE other note -- when I lay my horn in the case -- the case slopes enough that sometimes (spit/oil) seep back to the mpc (if I don't take it out of the horn). So even though I may have NOT oiled the horn that day -- I can (if not careful) still get oil on the mpc - and that is then transferred to my lips!!!!!!!!
     

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