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Sports injuries, hard falls, and household accidents can sometimes cause you to bite down hard on your tongue. In a situation like this, you might need to apply some basic first-aid measures while assessing the need for professional treatment.

To help you manage the trauma and assess the need for professional treatment Dr. Pooja Goel offers a few key insights.

The first thing to do is assess the severity of the trauma to your tongue. If you have stray debris or blood lingering in your mouth you can gently rinse it away with lukewarm salt water. This might also help sooth other traumatized tissues in your mouth

If the bleeding persists or you’ve bitten through your tongue you will likely need to seek professional treatment at the Emergency Room.   

To control more moderate bleeding you might want to try wrapping your tongue in a few layers of sterile gauze and applying light pressure. If you can’t easily hold the gauze with your fingertips, you might be able to press the injured part of your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

If the pain is getting worse or the bleeding is excessive, you should go directly to the Emergency Room to seek professional treatment.

If you live in the Santa Clara, California, area and you need help assessing a tongue injury you can call 408-241-6501 to speak to a staff member at Smiles for Life Dental Group.