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How to Stop a Bleeding Tongue

author image Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
How to Stop a Bleeding Tongue
How to Stop a Bleeding Tongue

The tongue is a frequently cut and injured organ because of the risk of the teeth inadvertently biting it. Tongue cuts typically bleed a lot because there are a lot of blood vessels in the tongue. This is because the tongue is mostly muscle and requires a lot of blood flow. Infection is also a concern because the mouth is filled with bacteria. Infection from a tongue bleed can be serious, as there are a lot of cavities where the infection can travel.

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Step 1

Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide or another antiseptic. This step is important to prevent infection, which can lead to serious complications. Swish the antiseptic around in your mouth for a few seconds and then spit out. Then repeat with water to make sure that you do not swallow the antiseptic.

Step 2

Apply a cold compress to the cut area. For small tongue cuts, wrapping a few ice cubes in a paper towel will work as a cold compress. Apply steady but firm pressure for five minutes. This cold compress will help slow blood flow and speed coagulation.

Step 3

Apply gentle but steady pressure for 15 to 20 minutes to the affected area, using a clean piece of gauze.

Step 4

If this does not stop the bleeding, go to an emergency room or urgent care center, as you may need stitches.

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