How to Care for Your Child with Minor Tongue Laceration

This leaflet will provide you with information about minor tongue laceration treatment and home care advice.

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What is a minor Tongue Laceration?

A tongue laceration (cut) is usually due to an injury, like a simple fall where the tongue is accidentally bitten.

How is minor Tongue Laceration treated?

  • Most tongue cuts heel well without treatment.
  • Repair with stitches may be needed in some situations in which tongue function may be impaired after healing. For example, lacerations that:
    • Does not stop bleeding
    • Large enough to trap food particles
    • Goes all the way through the tongue

Home care advice

During the healing process, ensure your child:

  • Maintains oral hygiene
  • Eats soft food for 3 to 5 days
  • Avoids hard, salty and spicy food until the cut has healed
  • Does not drink through a straw as there is a slight chance of injury with a straw
  • Rinses his/her mouth with water after meals and snacks
  • Eats ice pops to soothe the pain and control the swelling
  • If your doctor advises giving medicine for pain, you can provide:
    • Paracetamol (any brand) or Ibuprofen (any brand)
    • Follow the instruction on the medicine package for the correct dose for your child
    • Do not give your child Aspirin as this can cause serious complications

When should I seek medical advice?

Seek medical advice if:

  • There is any yellow or greenish discharge from the area
  • Your child has a fever
  • The injured area is very swollen

Go to the Emergency Department if:

  • There is bleeding from the injured area that does not stop
  • Your child cannot breathe or swallow because the tongue is swollen