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Tongue Injury: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Tongue injuries are common. You may bite your tongue while playing sports or because of a seizure, a car or bike crash, a fight, a fall, or another injury. Braces or mouth jewellery can also poke or cause sores on your tongue. Sometimes the piece of skin under your tongue may tear.

A cut or tear to the tongue can bleed a lot. Small injuries may often heal on their own. If the injury is long or deep, it may need stitches that dissolve over time.

If a piece of your tongue was cut off or bitten off, it may have been reattached.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Eat soft foods that are easy to swallow.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Apply a cold compress to the injured area. Or suck on a piece of ice or a flavoured ice pop.
  • Rinse your wound with warm salt water right after meals. These rinses may relieve some pain. To make a saltwater solution, mix 1 tsp of salt in 1 cup of warm water.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have trouble breathing.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse bleeding.
  • You have symptoms of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.