young woman biting her tongue and winking holding an ice cream

I Bit My Tongue. What Now?

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

A good tongue twister was quite fun growing up. But at any age, biting your tongue is quite not. While it's one of your strongest muscles, biting your tongue is pretty common. It often happens while you're eating something you love too fast. Slow down. Or participating in a heavy-contact sport. Be careful. And sometimes, it could be an issue with your jaw alignment. Talk to your dentist. Whatever the cause, you'll want to implement a tongue bite treatment as quickly as possible to soothe your pain and start the healing. Here's what you should know.

Remedies for a Bitten Tongue

Usually, it's the initial sting of your bite that you want to address. It could have created some wound or cut on your tongue that needs to be treated. And with that, swelling and bleeding are possible. Here are a few things you can do depending on your tongue bite situation:

  • First, you should firmly press a cloth to the area to help control the bleeding
  • If there is pain and swelling, wrap the cloth around some ice
  • If it's a deep cut and you need to stop your tongue from bleeding, try rinsing (not drinking) your mouth with 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1 part water
  • For pain relief after meals, you can try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water
  • Contact your doctor if you experience swelling and redness, fever, or pus, says the Government of Alberta, as they could be signs of an infection that may require antibiotics

I Bit My Tongue Again

When biting your tongue goes from an unfortunate incident to a painful habit, something else may be at play. It's possible the swelling from the initial bite makes it easier for you to bite it every so often repeatedly. It could be an enlarged tongue or a misaligned jaw you're dealing with. Whatever the case, tend to it with the at-home treatments outlined above. If you're worried it is an alignment issue, see your dentist for their professional opinion.

When to Seek Further Treatment

The at-home treatments shared earlier are just that — at-home treatments. If your bite was due to major trauma or a sports-related injury and heavy bleeding and pain are present, you should immediately seek medical treatment. Sutures or stitches may be necessary for healing. A procedure like that should only be done by a trained dental professional and not in the comfort of your own home.

Chances are, your cut is minor, and you can heal your bitten tongue with a few of the tips mentioned above. If you cannot manage the pain, bleeding, or infection, see a dental professional for treatment. They can help you make sure your tongue biting bites the dust.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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