Biting your tongue is a common accident that can happen to anyone. You may bite your tongue:
- when chewing food
- due to dental sedation
- while sleeping
- stress or anxiety
- due to seizures
- during a fall or because of a bike accident
- while playing sports
Cuts or wounds due to a tongue bite are common and often harmless, especially in kids. The condition can be severe in elders.
If you have bitten your tongue, the time it will take to heal will depend on how severe the cut was. If the injury was minor, it might heal on its own within 5-7 days. But if the injury is severe with bleeding and pain, you may need to see your dentist. Your doctor may give you stitches and medication to soothe the discomfort. Your injury may need several days or even months to heal completely.
Sometimes even small tongue bites can bleed but they don’t need any medical treatment. Just press the cut with a cloth and/or apply ice, and the bleeding will stop within no time.
When to see a doctor?
You should see a doctor in the following cases:
- your tongue is bleeding heavily
- bleeds again after the initial bleeding stopped
- you notice redness or inflammation
- the pain is excruciating
- pus is appearing on the affected site
- accompanied by a fever
If you have bitten your tongue, there are chances that you may bite the other areas inside your mouth or your lips. Biting these areas has the same treatment as for the tongue.
Treating tongue biting
If the cut or wound due to a tongue bite is small, you can easily treat it with simple home remedies. The following steps will help reduce the pain and ensure the bite heals completely.
- Thoroughly wash your hands using soap and water before touching your tongue
- Rinse your tongue with cold water to clearly see the cut
- Take a clean piece of cloth or gauze and firmly press the injury site to stop bleeding
- If you notice swelling, wrap some ice cubes in a cloth or take a cold pack and apply to the outside of the mouth or lips
If the injury was severe and the bleeding doesn’t stop, or you notice signs of infection, immediately see a doctor or dentist. Visit Smile Time Dental, by scheduling an appointment. Call us at 281-245-0711.
If your tongue biting injury is acute, follow the instruction of your dentist along with the home treatments.
- For a week or more, eat soft and easy-to-chew foods.
- To minimize the pain and inflammation, take OTC pain medication like Tylenol or Advil.
- Apply a cold compress to the injured area for a few minutes and repeat multiple times a day.
- After having meals or drinking your cup of favorite coffee, rinse your mouth with saltwater mixture. This will not only minimize the pain but keep the injury free from bacteria. To make a salty solution pour 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.