Tongue is an important muscle part in the mouth with taste, chewing, and speaking roles. There are situations in which you accidentally bite your tongue and may feel pain afterward. It is quite normal that a bitten tongue happens and there is usually no serious problem. You may have experienced that often.
Tongue muscle benefits from an enormous supply of blood through the veins. If severe injuries occur to the tongue, it can cause a lot of bleeding and you will need a doctor to treat the injured tongue. But a tongue biting from chewing harshly or during sleeping will most likely leave just pain and a minor cut, which will cause no worries.
Gurgle a warm saltwater rinse and rinse your mouth with a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash to kill bacteria and clean your mouth and tongue regularly. This way you will speed up the healing time. Sometimes, scars and cuts seem to be scary as blood and saliva mix and when you spit out, it looks like a large and deep blood loss. Check it out by cleaning your tongue first. Maybe it is just tiny cut.
What causes tongue biting?
You happen to bite your tongue by mistake unconsciously or intentionally as a bad habit. The most common causes tongue biting are:
- When chewing or speaking
- The ill-fitting dentures and prosthodontic appliance in your mouth
- Misaligned jaws and problems like overbite, deep bite, and underbite
- After oral surgical procedures because of anesthesia and the numbing feeling of your tongue
- Bad habits such as lip biting or tongue biting
- Injuries from falling or exercising
- Accidents like bicycle, car or motorcycle accidents
- Sleep disorders
- Seizures or epileptic disorders
What happens if I bit my tongue and bleed?
Bleeding a tongue as a result of chewing or biting will stop within minutes unless the cut is deep, which will require doctors’ intervention. If you realize that the wound or the cut of your tongue is not serious, try home disinfection and cleaning your tongue carefully at home. You will see if the cut is deep or not when your tongue is cleaned. After removing debris and disinfection is done, put a sterile gauze or a clean cloth on the injured area until it heals.
Does a bitten tongue need stitches?
Tongue injuries resolve and heal quickly if happen because of just a bite when chewing or speaking. You hardly go under surgical operations that need stitches. In serious tongue injuries like accidents, violent fights, falls and severe traumas to the tongue, you may get deep lacerations and cuts. Here doctors will use sutures to close the cuts on your tongue.
How to prevent a bitten tongue?
- Eat patiently and avoid eating foods that are too hot or too cold
- Use orthodontic devices recommended by your dentist especially for children when bit tongue is the result of sleeping disorders
- Use athletic guards or mouthguards when exercising or playing hard physical sports
- Consult a psychologist when too much stress is the cause
- Have your dentures fixed and refit if the dentures are to blame
Treat a bit tongue at home
For most minor injuries of tongue, you don’t need to go to a doctor. Do the following disinfecting and cleaning tasks to help the tongue heal fast. Possibility of infection and the appearance of tongue ulcers is high when there is a wound or cut, so don’t let your guard down.
Steps to treat a bitten tongue:
- Wash your tongue and clean it with a clean piece of cloth
- Put a sterilized gauze on the wound to stop bleeding
- When bitting swells, wrap ice pack or ice peas around a clean cloth and lay it on your TONGUE
- Rinse your mouth with solution from salt water (try it a few days until healing is complete)
When to see a doctor?
You must visit a doctor or dentist when the danger of tongue injury is serious. If the veins are damaged, you will face continuous bleeding. Thus, later during healing, your tongue swells and it causes problems to the airway.
An intense swollen tongue can be problematic to the oropharynx area, where breathing may be disturbed. Therefore, you must not take any risks in this condition and visit a doctor as soon as possible especially if other symptoms like fever, deep ulcers, and excessive bleeding accompany the bitten tongue.