Right in the middle of your lunch, you bite on something that is not food. Yes, unfortunately, it is your tongue. Do you find yourself always biting tongue? There is a chance that this is happening because of some set reasons.
Either you may have a misaligned jaw or maybe an enlarged tongue.
This article discusses when you are susceptible to biting your tongue and how you can heal as well as prevent it.
Keep reading below to know more!
Why Are You Always Biting Tongue?
It is fairly common to bite your tongue.
In fact, it is nothing concerning.
You may end up biting your tongue accidentally while eating food or when you are under stress.
It can also happen when you get an epileptic seizure, in your sleep or are in an accident.
Biting is also common after you get dental anesthesia. Moreover, you are very probable to accidentally bite your tongue when you are playing sports without wearing a mouthguard.
That said, usually, these injuries are not in severe condition.
In fact, children hardly get any major cuts but the injuries can become severe in adults.
Even if the bites bleed, they will usually heal on their own.
If the injury is not as severe, then it will heal within a week.
However, if it is not a small cut, then it can take weeks to months to heal after going through stitches and medicines.
So when do you know that it is time for taking your wound seriously?
If your tongue does not heal in a weeks’ time then it is concerning.
However, some symptoms of a serious injury may appear from the get-go.
Firstly, your tongue may bleed profusely. Even if the bleeding stops, it can begin again for a second time.
What’s more, your tongue can look red and feel warm.
It may be swollen, have red streaks and pus.
Plus, when you give it a closer look, it clearly looks deformed.
If there is a fever along with these symptoms, then it could be a sign of infection.
Also, it may hurt bad for you to consider going to your doctor.
Despite that, if you have any of these symptoms, your injury needs medical attention.
If it is not serious enough, you can simply treat it at home.
How to Prevent Yourself From Always Biting Tongue?
Correcting Misaligned Jaw
One reason for occasionally biting your tongue is having a misaligned jaw.
One way to treat it is to get dental braces and retainers.
Or you may need surgeries such as Maxillary osteotomy to correct the open and crossbites.
Once you correct your jaw, there will be fewer chances of biting the tongue, lips or inside of the cheeks.
However, there can be other reasons why you bite your tongue and different preventive measures to stop that.
Preventing bites from seizures
Children and adults facing seizures can bite their tongues.
However, these can be really severe bites.
The only way to prevent these is to be regular with your epilepsy treatment.
Take your medicines regularly while also avoiding the triggers that can cause you a seizure.
Preventing bites while chewing
You are especially prone to biting the tongue when you are eating hot and cold foods too quickly.
So in order to prevent that, take your time while eating.
Eat meals that are appropriately cool or warm.
Preventing bites during sleep
Consult your dentist to prescribe you an oral device that can prevent biting during sleep.
A mouthguard can help too but specific oral devices will prevent the tongue from moving around in order to restrict biting.
The same device can help with clenching and teeth grinding.
Preventing bites while playing sports
Physical contact sports, those that involve fast movement and hard objects can result in injuries.
While playing them a collision can result in you biting the tongue accidentally.
Some sports like ice hockey will require you to wear a helmet. For others, you can take precautionary measures by always wearing a mouthguard.
Once, you already have a bite, treat it soon at home. How to do so? Let’s find out!
At-home Treatment and Remedies
You will first feel a sting from the bite that could be an indication of a cut.
That can further lead to swelling and bleeding depending on the severity of the bite.
Read the steps below to know what to do when you accidentally bite your tongue.
- First of all, wash your hands properly or wear gloves to touch your injury and inspect it on your own
- Also, rinse your mouth in order to get a closer look at your injury
- In order to stop the bleeding, press cloth or gauze on the site of injury firmly
- If pain and swelling have started, wrap ice in a thin cloth and apply to the outside of the mouth or lips
- If the cut is deep, do not wait on calling a doctor. Remedies can help but injuries may get worse if not treated timely.
If the extent of the injury worsens then take a few other measures along with following the remedies for providing relief.
When it pains, take OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
They can also work to reduce swelling.
Take a break from eating spicy, hard and chewy foods.
rather switch to a diet that is soft to eat and swallow at least till your cut heals completely. Otherwise, you may risk biting into your tongue again.
After you are done eating, rinse your mouth with salt water gargles.
It keeps the wound clean.
Make the solution by mixing 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt in a cup of warm water.
Other than that, you can also apply ice to that area regularly.
Use a cold compress for five minutes, two to three times a day.
You may also find some relief in sucking on ice cubes or eating an ice lolly that is usually fruit-flavored.
How Does a Severe Injury Look Like?
Do you see any deformity? Does the bleeding not stop or is there a fever after getting bitten?
As an adult, you can notice you need medical help when the edges of your tongue injury do not come together when your tongue is in a still position.
Other than that, nonstop bleeding, pain and signs of infection are also reasons enough o visit your doctor.
When it comes to children, notice if they are facing difficulty while spitting and swallowing liquids.
they may notify you of feeling intense pain that does not go away even after taking OTC medicines.
They can also find it difficult to open or close their mouth properly.
Plus, when you insect their tongue, there is a gaping cut found on the lips, inside of the mouth or tongue.
They may also feel a mild fever and show signs of an infection.
These signs can be pus, worsening pain and having a fever.
Hence, if you notice any of these signs, it is time to get attentive as parents.
Also, check your and your child’s injury daily to see what it looks and feels like.
For instance, healthy wounds that are healing will look light pink to white in color.
Usually, the wounds will heal in a matter of days.
It will at maximum take a week to heal when it is just a minor injury.
However, if there is an infection then it can take longer. They will clear in weeks.
Though, if you have a serious injury that requires reattachment or stitching then you will have to wait weeks or even months for the injury to completely heal.
So when your injury is severe, and you go to your doctor, they may recommend any of these treatments.
Medically Treating Tongue Bites
Bite injuries on the tongue, inside of the mouth and lips are known as lacerations.
Once you go to your doctor they will inspect these lacerations and first stop bleeding to devise your treatment plan.
If the injury is severe enough that it will not heal on its own, your doctor will stitch the cut.
This will help close the wound.
In an extremely rare scenario, you may end up biting off a part of your tongue.
Clearly, this will need a more extensive procedure i.e reattachment.
Your doctor will connect the tongue’s part that was cut away.
Sometimes your cut is healing well, however, it becomes infected in the process.
In that case, you will need an antibiotic course to get rid of the infection. It can also help to prevent an infection from occurring beforehand so that your cut heals easily.
Remember to take the entire course of prescribed antibiotics and do not stop it mid-way.
If you find yourself always biting tongue, then it is good to visit your doctor once and find out the underlying cause.
In case, it is not your misaligned jaw, seizures or biting it in sleep then you can take care while eating and chewing food.
Do not eat fastly and only eat appropriately warmed and cooled food.
If an injury happens, turn to the remedies given above to soothe it and promote wound healing sooner.