It is very common for a patient to bite themselves while numb after having a filling, crown, extraction, root canal, or other dental procedure involving anesthetic. It is possible for a patient to not realize that they are biting or chewing on their tongue, lips, or cheek. For this reason, care must be taken when attempting to eat before the numbness has dissipated.
Accidental bites can also occur at other times, such as during the normal activity of enjoying a meal. This can be especially true when eating quickly. A fall or a blow can also cause an unexpected bite of the lips, cheek, or tongue. A person with certain medical conditions like one that causes seizures may also be prone to biting themselves.
Biting the inside of the mouth may also be attributed to nervous habits, anxiety, or stress. Like nail biting, this can be a difficult habit to break. If an individual’s teeth are not properly aligned they can experience a variety of issues including accidental bites. Orthodontic treatment may help to remedy this situation.
Most accidental bites are not dental emergencies and do not require specialized care. For healthy individuals minor tongue, lip, or cheek bites may heal quickly on their own without sutures. Moderate to severe bites are a different story and may require a dental emergency visit. Los Altos patients can contact Dr. Gupta who has a nearby dental office with extended hours to care for patients who are experiencing a dental emergency. Even if you are unsure of the seriousness of your injury, be sure to give us a call.
We may take our tongue for granted, but it helps us with many day to day activities such as chewing, speaking, tasting food, and swallowing. A dental emergency tongue injury may cause a significant amount of bleeding. If bleeding is uncontrolled or accompanied by other dental emergency like knocked out tooth be sure to seek care from a Los Altos area dental professional and in severe cases an urgent care facility or hospital. Lacerations caused by dirty or contaminated objects will also require a dental emergency visit.
If you are experiencing swelling, throbbing, fever, the presence of pus, or any signs of an infection, it is best not to delay in having the wound examined by a dentist near Los Altos. If an infection is present, antibiotics may be recommended. Be sure to let your dentist know if you have any drug allergies or medical conditions prior to your dental exam. Any medication that is prescribed should be taken as directed.
Firm pressure applied with gauze, cotton, or cloth may help to reduce bleeding when an injury has occurred inside of the mouth. Cold beverages, ice, or popsicles may temporary provide relief if bleeding isn’t present. Warm salt water rinses may be used in some cases depending on the progress of healing. Be sure to ask your Los Altos area dentist before beginning this or any other type of therapy.
Spicy, hard, and crunchy food and beverages may irritate an oral wound and should be avoided until you have completely healed. Gently continue to brush and floss your teeth as best you can.