How to treat a bitten tongue
A bitten tongue is a common behavior that usually happens when chewing foods, speaking or being tongue-tied. Small bites can heal on the same day, but a deeper wound heals in a week. When an individual ends up with a bitten tongue, it can cause the development of a painful sore that lasts for several days.
- Wash hands properly before touching the inside of the mouth. Wash hands using warm water and soap or a hand sanitizer to prevent germs from the hands to transfer to an open wound on the tongue. Resistant viruses can cause an infection when they come in direct contact with the bleeding wound.
- A bitten tongue can bleed instantly because it is highly vascular. Apply pressure on the affected tongue to slow down the flow of blood and allowing it to clot. If the point of the tongue is damaged, drive it on the roof of the mouth and hold for at least 5 seconds. Another alternative is pressing the tongue on the inner part of the cheek. If the wound cannot be reached, place a small piece of ice and place it on the affected tongue. If is not painful, move the ice on and off until melted.
- Check for damaged or loose teeth or bleeding gums which can be due to a fractured tooth. Move the jaw up and down if it causes pain. If one of these injuries at present, seek medical help immediately or visit a dentist.
- Place something cold on the tongue such as ice wrapped in a clean small piece of cloth. Hold the ice in the area for at least a minute until the area becomes numb and remove the compress. Repeat this process several times for a few days. Another alternative is using a frozen fruit bar or drinking cold beverages is also good for the condition. It prevents bleeding if the cut reopens and lessens the pain during the healing period.
- Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medication to lessen the swelling and pain.
- Rinse the mouth using a mouthwash to clean the area and prevent infection especially after eating.
- After eating a meal, rinse the mouth using saltwater. The salt eliminates bacteria found in the mouth, cleans the mouth and lessens the possibility of developing infections.
- Maintain oral hygiene such as brushing the teeth at least 3 times everyday using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on a bitten tongue is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly provide wound care including on a bitten tongue by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.