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Accidentally biting your tongue while enjoying a snack or eating a meal rarely a causes significant trauma. However, there are other times when a blow to the face or other oral accident can seriously injure your tongue. In these situations, your dentist, Dr. Stephanie S. Karlin & Justin S. Petracek, offers these first-aid tips.

The first step is to rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm saltwater. This will help wash away any blood or debris in your mouth and give you a better look at the situation. The saltwater can also help soothe injured tissues.

If your tongue is bleeding profusely, or if you’ve bitten through it, you likely need to seek professional treatment at the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.

Wrapping your tongue in a few layers of sterile gauze and applying light pressure can help control the bleeding. If you can’t easily hold the gauze with your fingers, you could try pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Try not to swallow too much blood as this can lead to stomach upset.

If the bleeding persists for longer than 30 minutes, or if the pain is getting worse, it’s a clear sign that the tongue injury requires professional treatment in the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.

If you need professional treatment for an injured tongue in Littleton, Colorado, you can always call 303.933.2420 to schedule an appointment at Dakota Ridge Dental.