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Accidentally biting your tongue while chewing gum or eating a meal is often just par for the course. It rarely results in any serious injury. However, there are other times when a hard fall or a blow to the face can cause a serious tongue injury. In an extreme case, you could actually bite through your tongue.

If your tongue is bleeding excessively, you should strongly consider going directly to the emergency room. If the injury isn’t severe, but still requires some basic care, Dr. Brent A. Spears offers these first aid tips.

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

— Wrapping your tongue in a few layers of sterile gauze and applying light pressure can help control the bleed. If you can’t easily hold the gauze with 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 after 20 to 30 minutes the bleeding persists, or you feel that the pain is getting worse, it likely needs professional treatment in the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.

If you have suffered a tongue injury and are struggling to manage the problem, you can always call our experienced dental team in Fort Worth, Texas at 817.920.1488 for more information.