How to heal tongue wounds

Updated April 17, 2017

Tongue wounds are often caused when blows are received to the chin. The teeth bite the tongue and cause cuts and trauma. Due to the vast number of blood vessels present, most tongue wounds heal themselves rather quickly in four to seven days. Deep cuts should be looked at by a doctor. In instances of minor tongue lacerations, patience is key in healing, but you can take measures to avoid infection and speed up healing.

Rinse your mouth to clear any debris that may remain from your accident. Mix 2 tbsp salt with warm water and rinse for thirty seconds.

Stop bleeding by applying a cold compress. Wrap an ice cube in a towel and press it firmly on your tongue wound for five minutes. To ease swelling, slow bleeding and manage pain, wrap crushed ice in a thin gauze and hold it inside the mouth.

Make your own antiseptic mouthwash to keep the wound clean. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with one part water and rinse. Do not swallow the mixture, and do not be alarmed if foaming occurs. Hydrogen peroxide foams naturally as it fights the bacteria in your mouth, keeping your tongue wound from getting infected.

Make a paste by mixing 1 tsp baking soda in a little water. Apply the mixture to the tongue wound for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat this method 2 to 3 times a day to reduce pain and protect the wound while it is healing.

Eat a soft, mild diet while your tongue is healing. Avoid spicy or tangy foods and hot temperatures that can irritate your wound. Refrain from foods like chips that can penetrate tongue wounds, as well as caffeine, cigarettes, chocolate and citrus.

See a doctor if the above methods do not help or if your cut is deep, bleeds consistently or is excessively swollen. Your mouth is rife with bacteria, and you may need an antibiotic to ward off infection. Your cut might also require stitches if it is deep enough.

Things You'll Need

  • Salt
  • Ice
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Gauze or towel
  • Baking soda
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About the Author

Catherine Colombo is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore. She received her Bachelor of Science in written communications and English language, graduating with honors from Eastern Michigan University. Colombo has participated in publishing, fiction, mixed media and poetry symposiums since 2001.