Most tongue injuries are minor and often result from accidentally biting your tongue while chewing gum or eating food. Most of these situations are minor and don’t require any immediate first aid. Unfortunately, there are some other rare instances when an oral accident can cause more significant trauma to your tongue.
In a situation like this, you will likely need to provide some basic first aid while assessing the need to seek professional treatment at a nearby dentist.
If your tongue is bleeding profusely, you should strongly consider going to the emergency room or other urgent care facility. For a less-severe tongue injury that requires basic first aid, Dr. John A. Johnson Jr. offers the following advice.
The first step is to assess the severity of the tongue injury. You can do this by rinsing your mouth gently with lukewarm saltwater. This will help wash away any blood or other detritus in your mouth so you can have a better look at the situation. The saltwater can also help soothe injured tissues.
If your tongue is bleeding excessively or if you’ve bitten through it, you likely need to seek professional treatment at the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.
You can also try to control the bleeding by applying light pressure with a sterile gauze pad. If you can’t easily hold the gauze with fingers, you could try pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Try not to swallow too much blood as this can lead to stomach upset.
If your tongue is still bleeding after a half an hour or if the pain is escalating, it’s a clear sign that the tongue injury requires professional treatment in the emergency room.
If you live in the Bryan, Texas, area and you need further advice on how to manage a tongue injury, you can always call 979-279-8839 (Bryan) 281-944-3634 (Spring) to speak to a member of our staff at Dr. John A. Johnson Jr.’s clinic.