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Accidentally biting your tongue while chewing gum or eating a snack is a common occurrence in life. It rarely causes any significant injury. At the same time, there are also rare instances when a hard fall or blow the face can cause a serious tongue injury that requires immediate first aid.

The severity of your tongue injury can be a major factor in determining the best way to treat it. If your lip is bleeding excessively, you should probably go directly to the emergency room.

In order to assess the problem and determine a course of treatment, your dentist, Dr. Laurin Cardwell, offers these first-aid tips for taking care of an injured tongue.

You can use lukewarm saltwater to rinse away any blood or debris 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 your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

If after 20 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 interested in learning more tips about how to render first aid for common oral emergencies in Sylva, North Carolina, you can always call Cardwell Family Dentistry at 828-631-3567 to set up a consultation.