San Jose Dental Emergency – Bitten Tongue or Lips

An unexpected fall or blow to the face can cause an inadvertent bite to the lips, cheek, tongue or even knock out a tooth completely. Sometimes a bitten tongue or lip accident is minor, but at other times a dental emergency visit is necessary. If you are unsure of the seriousness of an accidental bite, it is important to seek the guidance of a medical or dental professional. Children are especially susceptible to biting their tongue, cheek or lips because of the various sports and games that many of them participate in. San Jose area dentist Dr. Antonious can treat this type of dental emergency. He has been serving San Jose residents for over two decades.

Some self-inflicted bites occur while eating, especially when we are in a hurry. Eating while numb from dental anesthetic can make it very easy to accidentally bite ourselves. For many people, it is better to consume liquid or soft foods that don’t require chewing if they must eat before the numbness has dissipated. Many bites of this sort are mild, will heal on their own, and do not require a dental emergency visit or sutures.

Some health conditions like ones that cause seizures may result in severe lacerations to the mouth. In this situation definitely seek medical and dental care as soon as possible.

Until the area has completely healed, it may be advantageous to avoid hot, spicy, and crunchy foods that may aggravate the wound. Cold things like ice, shakes, smoothies, or popsicles may make the wound feel better. When bleeding is not present and the wound is healing, warm salt water rinses may feel soothing and help further healing.

Cheek, lip or tongue biting is a common habit that is similar to nail biting. This habit is sometimes brought on by stress, anxiety or nervousness. Sometimes a person isn’t under emotional stress, but this habit presents itself when they are concentrating deeply on a task. The continuous trauma caused by repetitive and prolonged biting can be painful and harmful to the oral tissue.

Another common cause of bites to the tongue, cheek, or lips is misaligned teeth. Other possible problems caused by teeth misalignment include headaches, clinching or grinding, difficulty eating, and TMJ pain. A San Jose area dentist may be able to treat this condition with orthodontics.

A dental emergency visit should be scheduled if an accidental bite results in bleeding that cannot be controlled by applying pressure to the area, if there is a deep cut or laceration, swelling is present, the wound is not healing, pain is increasing, or if signs of infection are present.

Mouth guards are recommended for athletes to protect their teeth from breaking or being knocked out. They may also protect the tongue, cheek, and lips from being bitten. A dentist near San Jose can take impressions and make a mouth guard for one or both arches of the mouth. These custom guards are more comfortable and offer better protection than the one size fits all options available over the counter.

The regular use of seat belts can also help reduce possible bite trauma in the event of a car accident.