Sublingual Hematoma: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Bleeding and swelling under the tongue is called a sublingual hematoma. It can happen after some kind of tooth surgery or implant. Or it can happen after a mouth or tongue injury.

This problem can be very serious if the swelling increases and blocks your airway. If that happens, you need to be watched and treated in a hospital.

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?

  • Follow your doctor's instructions to prevent more swelling and reduce pain.
  • If your doctor suggests it, put ice or a cold pack under your chin for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • 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.
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • 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.

When should you call for help?

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

  • You have severe trouble breathing.

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

  • It gets harder to swallow or to move your tongue.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have new pain, or your pain gets worse.
  • The swelling under your tongue increases.
  • You have swollen or painful lymph nodes in your neck or armpits.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Current as of: August 9, 2016