How to stop a bleeding tongue

Maybe you have bitten your tongue accidentally, or cut it on a particularly sharp edge of a lollypop – but however it happened, it was probably very painful. Tongues also have a bad habit of bleeding nonstop once they are cut. This can seem excessive and be alarming, but the blood usually looks more than what is, in fact, oozing from your tongue.

There are also other, medical reasons as to why your tongue is bleeding. Oral infections, herpes, and even canker sores can lead to cracks in the tongue’s surface.

Nonetheless, you want to stop any bleeding as soon as possible, but how?

There are two ways that will help you stop the bleeding, so that you can treat your very sensitive tongue wound.

Salt water

Add a teaspoon of salt or baking soda to lukewarm water. Once dissolved, rinse your mouth with the solution, being sure to swirl the liquid around your tongue. The taste may be off putting, but it is a quick, usually accessible way to stop any bleeding and combat any germs in the mouth.

Doctors Beyond Medicine explains that salt water is an isotonic solution, which means it contains the same salts and minerals our bodies do in equal concentrations. For this reason, it doesn’t irritate the mucous membranes as a medicinal mouthwash might, which is why many dentists recommend it as a gentle healing aid.

The use of salt also promotes healing, so it’s ideal to use it 24 hours after minor dental surgery to help your mouth recover, according to Delta Dental.


As with any wound, putting ice on it will stop the swelling and usually slow down the bleeding. Be sure to thoroughly sterilise your hands, then place ice wrapped in gauze or a clean washcloth on the cut. Be sure to put any skin flaps down in their original position if the cut is that deep. Apply light pressure, and allow the ice to do its job. You can also eat Popsicles and sip cool water through a straw to help relieve symptoms, says Healthline.

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