Actually, it’s almost impossible to bleed to death from biting your tongue (though you could choke to death on the blood if you bite all the way through it). Still it can be VERY painful and is bloody to the point of being grotesque.
I bit my tongue eating pizza at dinner Friday, and honestly believed it was nothing. It hurt, and I could feel a knot the size of a marble emerging on my tongue, but I didn’t taste blood and no one alerted me to blood running out of my mouth or anything. After dinner, I took Ayla for a walk and, when I returned, there was dried blood at the corners of my mouth. Yeah, yuck!
It gets worse. I brushed my teeth, rinsed, and the sink filled up with blood! I looked at my tongue and there appeared to be an inch-long piece of flesh dangling from it, backward and down my throat. I panicked, certain that I was going to pass out, if not pass away.
But I didn’t. Instead, I spent more than two hours repeatedly placing and replacing gauze in my mouth to soak up the blood from my self-inflicted wound. Exhausted, I finally wedged an extra-thick piece of gauze between my tongue and the roof of my mouth, gritting my teeth to keep the “dressing” in place until I fell asleep.
I did fall asleep, and slept through the night…only to wake up with my face, tank top, and pillow covered in blood. Unable to get the bleeding to stop and ready to pass out from what I thought must be lack of blood, I headed to the ER.
Although, oddly enough, I was only one in the place when I arrived, I didn’t see a doctor until a child with a cold, a woman about to give birth, and some homeless guy, in turn, each passed through the door marked “triage.” All the while, I continued to sop up the blood that WOULD NOT stop pouring out of my tongue! I’m not kidding. As soon as I removed the gauze, releasing any pressure on my tongue, my mouth filled up with blood.
I’d been bleeding for nearly 15 hours by the time I made my way to triage, where the doctor evaluated my tongue for sutures. He took one look at my “laceration” and calmly told me that it’s a clean, even gash and should heel nicely without treatment! No, I didn’t want stitches, but I thought he might have “glue” or something to STOP the bleeding.
The bleeding slowly tapered off over the next couple of hours, leaving a massive, swollen lump on my tongue that I was afraid to let touch food or brush until today. I’m happy to note that I must be “healed.” I accidentally brushed my tongue earlier tonight and…no blood!