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Tongue injuries come in a wide range of severity. A minor injury that occurs from accidentally nibbling on your lip while eating might cause some minor swelling, yet it is rarely a cause for concern. In most of these situations, you might need to hold an ice cube in your mouth or apply topical analgesic to help numb the pain.

Yet there are other times when a dental accident or other oral trauma manages to cause a more significant injury to the tongue. This is even more likely to occur if you play or practice athletics without wearing a proper mouthguard.

To help manage these situations with quality first aid and injury assessment, Dr. Shad Ingram offers the following insights.

The first step is to assess the severity of the damage to your tongue. If there are debris or lingering blood in your mouth, you can rinse them away with lukewarm saltwater. You shouldn’t rinse with 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’re having a hard time holding the gauze in place, you might want to try pressing it to the roof of your mouth.

If after 20 to 30 minutes the bleeding persists 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 in the Syracuse, Utah, area and you need further advice on how to treat a tongue injury, you can always call 801-776-3000 to speak to a staff member at VIP Smiles.