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Accidentally biting your tongue when you’re eating a meal or a snack rarely causes a significant injury. However, there are other situations when a hard fall or blow the face can cause a serious tongue injury that might require some special first aid.  

The severity of the problem will largely determine the best way to treat it. If your tongue is bleeding excessively, it likely warrants a trip to the emergency room.

If the tongue injury is not severe, your dentist, Dr. Maureen Toal, suggests these basic tips for rendering quality first aid.

You can use lukewarm saltwater to rinse away any blood or debris that are lingering in your mouth. This can also help soothe injured tissues. Avoid using antiseptic mouthwash as it can easily irritate the tongue injury. If your tongue is bleeding excessively, you shouldn’t swallow the blood as this can upset your stomach.

If your tongue is bleeding, you can wrap it in a few layers of sterile gauze and apply light pressure. If you can’t easily hold the gauze with your fingers, you might want to try pressing it to the roof of your mouth.

If the bleeding persists after 20 minutes or if you feel that the pain is getting worse, you should strongly consider going the emergency room or a nearby urgent-care facility for more advanced treatment.

If you are interested in learning more tips about how to render first aid for common oral emergencies in Phoenix, Arizona, you can always call Center For Dental Rehabilitation at 602.485.0505 to seek further advice.