Did you bite your tongue or cut yourself with something sharp like a piece of ice or a broken tooth? Cuts on the tongue are common. This is frustrating, but the cut will usually heal after a few days. Even if the cut is very severe, with proper medical care, it will heal over time. To heal a cut on your tongue, stop bleeding, speed up healing at home, and reduce pain and discomfort.
Part 1 of 3: How to Stop Bleeding
Step 1. Wash your hands
Wash your hands under warm or cold running water. Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds. Wash your hands thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel. This will prevent you from bringing the infection into your mouth.
Use a hand sanitizer if there is no running water or soap nearby
Step 2. Put on a pair of latex gloves
Put on a pair of latex gloves, if you have one. They are usually included in the first aid kit. This will help prevent infection from entering the cut in your tongue.
If you do not have gloves, wash your hands thoroughly before putting them in your mouth
Step 3. Rinse your mouth
Rinse your mouth with warm water for a few seconds. Pay special attention to flushing the tongue. This will wash away the blood and remove any debris from your tongue.
If a foreign object (such as a fish bone or a piece of glass) is stuck in the cut, do not remove it. Instead, stop rinsing your mouth, cover the cut with a piece of wet gauze, and seek medical attention
Step 4. Cover the cut with a clean bandage and apply pressure
Cover the cut with clean gauze or a towel and apply light pressure. Don't let go until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding does not stop, continue covering the cut with new gauze or towels until the bleeding stops or you receive medical attention.
Do not throw away used bandages or gauze if you are going to see a doctor. Put them in a plastic bag and take them to your doctor's appointment. This will tell the doctor how much blood you have lost
Step 5. Place an ice cube on the cut
Roll the ice into the cloth. Place it on the cut and hold it for a few seconds. Ice will help constrict blood vessels and stop bleeding. It will also ease pain and discomfort in the mouth.
Remove the ice if it hurts or gets too cold to prevent a frost burn on your tongue
Step 6. Seek emergency medical attention if necessary
See your doctor if your tongue does not heal, the cut is severe, or you think you are in shock. In case of shock, you should wrap yourself up in warm blankets. Go to the emergency room if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- uncontrolled bleeding;
- a cut along the edge of the tongue;
- gaping wound;
- the presence of debris in the cut;
- pale, cold, or clammy skin;
- fast or rapid breathing.
Part 2 of 3: How to Speed Up Healing
Step 1. Rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash
Use an alcohol-free mouthwash (such as baby rinse) twice a day. Concentrate on flushing your tongue. The mouthwash will help kill bacteria, prevent infection, and speed up healing.
Do not use mouthwashes that contain alcohol. They can cause pain and discomfort on the tongue
Step 2. Rinse your mouth with salt water
Salt is a natural antiseptic that can kill bacteria. Add one teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth twice a day. This will speed up healing and relieve tongue discomfort.
Salt water can be replaced with medical saline solution
Step 3. Apply aloe gel
Apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel to the cut and surrounding tissue. The gel will quickly relieve pain and discomfort on the tongue. Aloe vera will also speed up the healing of the cut.
Step 4. Eat foods rich in vitamin C
Soft foods high in vitamin C will speed up the healing of your cut. If you want to speed healing without increasing your mouth discomfort, add the following foods to your diet:
Part 3 of 3: How to Ease Tongue Pain
Step 1. Switch to soft food
While your tongue is healing, eat only soft foods. This will minimize pain and speed up the healing of the cut. Temporarily switch to baby food, grind foods in a blender, or simply eat softer foods. Here are some examples of soft foods that can help speed healing and reduce discomfort:
- minced meat and tender meat;
- peanut butter;
- canned or baked fruits;
- fried vegetables and steamed vegetables;
Step 2. Avoid foods and drinks that can cause irritation
Salty, spicy, and dry foods can make tongue pain worse. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages can also increase discomfort. Avoid these foods and drinks to speed healing and reduce pain.
Step 3. Drink plenty of water
Dry mouth can worsen pain and discomfort on the tongue. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to relieve pain and speed healing. It can also prevent bad breath.
Drink warm water with a few drops of lemon juice or lime if you prefer
Step 4. Take pain reliever
You may experience swelling and discomfort on your tongue. Take a pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain and reduce swelling. For dosage, follow your doctor's directions or package directions.