Mouth injuries are very common in infants and those toddlers who are learning to walk and maintain balance. Infact tongue injury in toddler is the most common incident. Tongue cuts and bites are particularly common in preschoolers and kids running around, falling at times can drive new teeth into the tongue and form a laceration that needs immediate first-aid assistance. The issue is that the cure to treat a tongue bite for children is the same as in the case of adults, but getting hold of a crying infant or toddler can make it difficult to treat the bite or a laceration on an immediate basis. However, deep cuts or broken teeth will need to be seen by a doctor to prevent complications.
Why do babies/kids chew/bite their tongue often:
Tongue biting, sucking the tongue, cheek or lips are some of the habits that are formed at a very early stage. Babies can begin by chewing their tongue or side of their cheeks. Teething or cutting molars triggers it. 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 month’s old baby. Another possible cause of tongue biting is mouth or throat infections. If this is the case, it is advised to give your child a toy to bite instead of them biting their tongue.
Home remedies to treat tongue bites and cuts:
One of the easiest home remedies that work great for bitten tongues or inside cheeks is sweet-good-old-sugar. It helps to seal the cut, tastes good too (actually soothing), and heals the wound due to the saliva secretion. You could give half a tbsp of sugar orally until the bleeding stops. Do not use water, as this will cause the sugar to dissolve and bleeding to continue. Milk can also be used to assist in stopping the bleeding. If the child is on breastfeed, then that’s the best home remedy. If the soreness and pain persist, you can use infant ibuprofen (after having consulted your pediatrician).
2. Cold compression
Here is another thing that can be done on an urgent basis. If the child has bit the tongue to an extent that its bleeding buckets, cover the cut with a wet, cold, and clean hand towel. Apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Wash the laceration with filtered water after the child calms down. Rinse off the blood. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth and hold it over the tongue for cold compression. This will reduce inflammation and acts as a pain-relief. Once the child is calm, examine the tongue/mouth.
3. Soothing gels
If the soreness/bite/cut is mild, you can apply an antiseptic and pain-relieving gel. It is used in the treatment of mouth ulcers and at the time of teething (on swollen gums). Such gels are also used to treat mouth thrush.
What to do for a badly bitten tongue?
Wash your hands properly with soap and water, or wear latex gloves. Encourage your baby/child to not swallow the freshwater, but instead rinse the mouth with water so you can better see the injury. Apply gauze or cloth with pressure to the site of the injury to stop the bleeding. Place a cold pack wrapped in a thin cloth to the outside of the lips or mouth if there’s any swelling, or give a tiny bit of sugar. Wait and watch.
If the bleeding persists or if it’s a deep cut on tongue, show him/her by taking an appointment without any further delays.
When does a tongue need stitches?
It is important to determine whether your child’s tongue bite, cut or wound needs to be closed by a doctor. The risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched or closed with liquid stitches within 6 to 8 hours post the injury. Here’s how a doctor assesses the magnitude of the cut or wound.
Disclaimer: Examine the tongue as soon as you have finished trying these remedies. Watch for any signs of infection. Contact your pediatrician if the area swells, begins to drain or if the child runs a fever. Keep the child’s head tilted forward to prevent aspiration of blood.
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