How to Properly Care for Oral Cuts and Scrapes

How to Properly Care for Cut in Mouth?

Cut in Mouth: What Is it?

The word “cut” means broken or severed part of something. When you break your arm, you are not cutting off your hand; rather, you are severing a piece of bone. A tooth is a similar thing. You do not want to remove the whole tooth because then what happens when you swallow it will cause problems later on. Instead, you want to keep it intact so that you can eat properly with it.

When someone breaks their leg, they are not cutting off their leg; rather, they are severing a piece of bone. A bone is like a tooth in that it needs to remain intact in order for the person to survive. However, unlike teeth which need to be removed before eating, bones do not require any special care if left alone. They may even grow back stronger than ever!

A cut in the mouth occurs when there is a fracture of the jawbone (mandible) resulting in a hole or gap between the upper and lower jaws. If untreated, this can lead to infection and bleeding into other parts of the body.

What Causes a Cut in Mouth?

There are several causes of a cut in mouth. Some are obvious such as trauma or surgery while others may come as a surprise such as dental work done during childhood.

Suffocation: When an infant is unable to breathe, they may instinctively begin to suck on anything close by. One of the most prominent and accessible objects for them to suckle on are their fingers or thumbs. During the act of sucking, the finger may force itself into the mouth where it may become lodged in between the upper and lower jaw. In severe cases, a bone may even be fractured causing a cut in mouth.

Tongue Piercing: The practice of placing decorative objects through the tongue dates back to pre-historic times. While some consider it to be a dangerous activity, others enjoy the risks involved and go on to pierce different parts of their bodies. The most common types of piercing include the nose, lip, and eyebrow. There are also those who decide to get a ring fitted through the fleshy mass that is located in the center of the mouth. In recent years, however, this practice has fallen out of favor and is no longer as popular.

Accidents: There are other methods of getting a hole in your tongue including chewing on a metal pole (also known as “Silver Smoother”) or even falling asleep with a belt or rope tied around the tongue. While the first example requires a great deal of force, the latter two are more accidental in nature. Falling asleep with a belt tied around the tongue may cause the tongue to get stuck and rip some of the flesh away. The same thing can happen if the tongue gets stuck in a railroad track.

Diseases: Some diseases can result in a cut in mouth. Mumps is one example that comes to mind, though it is typically only seen in infants and children. During an outbreak, one of the first signs is swelling in the jaw area followed by pain. Sucking of thumbs or fingers may occur as a result.

Dental Care: Most people never have to consider this cause for a cut in the mouth, but it is something that you should be aware of. It is common for children to have their teeth cleaned during the first few years of life. If their teeth are not cleaned properly, plaque and tartar may form which can then lead to a cut in the mouth.


Fortunately, a cut in the mouth is rarely life-threatening. It does, however, need to be treated by a medical professional. In some cases, stitches may be required to stop bleeding while in others you may have to wait for natural healing to take place. In extreme cases such as a fractured jawbone or tongue, the bone may have to be reset before healing can begin.

Home Remedies

There are some steps that you can take at home to help treat a cut in the mouth. Rinsing with a mixture of warm water and salt can be helpful for cleaning wounds. Over-the-counter pain medication can also help to reduce any swelling, though you should consult your physician before taking anything.


While a cut in the mouth is not common, knowing how to prevent it is. As mentioned before, dental care is key in preventing cuts in the mouth. Additionally, if you have a need to suck on something such as a pen or finger, you should be especially mindful of where you are sticking it in. Thorns that get stuck in the tongue are another example of how thinking ahead can help prevent problems. There is no reason to stick anything into your mouth that might cut it open.

Key Points

Sources & references used in this article:

Oral sex, oral health and orogenital infections by R Saini, S Saini, S Sharma – Journal of global infectious diseases, 2010 –

Ethnomedicinal application of plants in the western plain region of North Jeolla Province in Korea by MJ Song, H Kim – Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2011 – Elsevier

Risk factors and management of dehiscent wounds in implant dentistry by W Sadig, K Almas – Implant dentistry, 2004 –

Dysmenorrhea and use of oral contraceptives in adolescentwomen attending a family planning clinic by JC Robinson, S Plichta, CS Weisman… – American journal of …, 1992 – Elsevier