Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Mouth Injury Treatment

Treatment for a mouth or tongue injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. Treatment often includes cold compresses, oral rinses, saltwater gargles, narcotic pain medications, surgery, or antibiotics.

Treatment options for a mouth or tongue injury include:

  • Cold compresses
    • Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
  • Oral rinses for oral injuries
  • Narcotic pain medication:
    • For moderate to severe pain
    • For short term use only
  • Surgery for mouth or tongue injuries:
    • To repair damaged structures
  • Oral wound repair
  • Antibiotics to prevent oral infections

For more information:

Mouth Injury Lacerations

Cuts or lacerations caused by a mouth or tongue injury may require stitches.

Oral lacerations that require stitches include:

  • Wounds longer than 2 cm (3/4 inch)
  • Lacerations through the end of the tongue
  • Lacerations to the cheeks or palate longer than 1.5 cm (1/2 inch)

Continue to Mouth Injury Home Care

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Mouth Injury References
  1. Ng KF, Lo CF. The bamboo skewer: airway management in a patient with penetrating injury of the floor of mouth. Can J Anaesth. 1996 Nov;43(11):1156-60. [8922774]
  2. Schutzman SA, Liebelt E, Wisk M, Burg J. Comparison of oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate and intramuscular meperidine, promethazine, and chlorpromazine for conscious sedation of children undergoing laceration repair. Ann Emerg Med. 1996 Oct;28(4):385-90. [8839521]
  3. Steinig JP, DeLoach ED, Boyd CR. Transection of the base of the tongue caused by penetrating injury. Am Surg. 1999 Feb;65(2):133-4. [9926746]
  4. Wu K, Ahmed A. Penetrating injury to the soft palate causing retropharyngeal air collection. Emerg Med J. 2005 Feb;22(2):148-9. [15662074]
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