Tongue Laceration

ExitCare Image A tongue laceration is a cut on the tongue. The edges of the cut may turn gray. Most cuts on the tongue heal without problems.


  • Cover an ice cube with a thin cloth. Hold the ice cube on the cut for 1 to 3 minutes at a time, 6 to 10 times a day. Do this for 1 day.

  • After the first day, rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Do this 4 to 6 times a day, or as told by your doctor.

  • If your teeth are not injured, brush your teeth gently. Do not brush loose or broken teeth. Do not brush teeth that have been put back into place by your doctor or dentist.

  • If given, take your antibiotic medicine as told. Finish the medicine even if you start to feel better.

  • Do not eat hot foods or drink hot drinks when you lose feeling (numbness) in your mouth.

  • Do not eat hard foods (such as apples) or chewy foods (such as broiled meat) until your doctor says it is okay.

  • If you have stitches (sutures), do not pull or chew them.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

You may need a tetanus shot if:

  • You cannot remember when you had your last tetanus shot.

  • You have never had a tetanus shot.

If you need a tetanus shot and you choose not to have one, you may get tetanus. Sickness from tetanus can be serious.


  • You have puffiness (swelling) or more pain in the tongue or other parts of your face.

  • You see yellowish-white fluid (pus) coming from the cut.

  • You have a fever.

  • You see the edges of the cut break open after your stitches are taken out.

  • You have bleeding that does not stop when you press on the area.

  • You have trouble breathing.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.