Cut got your tongue? Seeing a dentist for a tongue injury

Tongue injuries are common in children and in adults. Injuries can occur because of biting down on the tongue accidentally while chewing or while playing sports. In this article, we look at how you can treat little cuts on your tongue, as well as the signs that you may need to see a dentist.


Causes of tongue injuries

Cuts and punctures on the tongue heal themselves normally in a day or two. Even sores on the tongue should dissipate over time. Here are a few causes of tongue injuries:

  • Biting down on tongue while eating
  • Biting tongue during sleep
  • Cuts from sharp or broken fillings
  • Punctures and cuts from hard or sharp foods
  • Constant rubbing against misshapen or misaligned teeth
  • Trauma from physical injury


Treating pain and bleeding

If you have hurt your tongue, follow these steps to stop bleeding and manage pain:

  • Rinse mouth with a water-hydrogen peroxide mixture (1:1 ratio) – do not swallow it
  • Cool a clean cloth by wrapping it around ice
  • Remove ice and press the cloth firmly on the wound for a few minutes to reduce bleeding
  • Reduce inflammation by rinsing the mouth with warm salt water after meals


Signs you need to see a dentist for a cut

Tongue injuries are generally not serious enough to warrant seeing the dentist. In the case of profuse bleeding, deep cuts, swelling, pus formation, or prolonged pain, it is advisable you see a dentist. Deep and wide cuts may require dissolvable sutures or stitches. Objects stuck in the tongue may need to be removed by the dentist too. You should also see a dentist if you have a lingering foul taste in the mouth after an injury.

If your tongue is not healing on its own, schedule an appointment at a Dawson Dental clinic near you. For severe pain and bleeding, please call our emergency number.

Read more

Emergency dental care tips | 6 risks of avoiding the dentist | Common dental hygiene mistakes