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Treating a bitten tongue - epilepsy


What more can be said (if you can say that)! I've suffered with seizures for many years and by far the worst and slowest part to get over, once you've made it through your tonic clonic (formerly grand mal) seizure is the bitten tongue. Not everyone experiences this and the severity varies but for me personally, when it's bad it's bad! 

About ten days ago I was unfortunate enough to suffer three very big tonic clonic seizures in nine hours leaving me hospitalized for a further two days. During this time the bruising subsides and the aches and weaknesses lesson slowly but surely, you remain grateful that you only managed to hurt yourself in bits here and there even when you've grazed most of the skin off your face! But all this time your tongue is getting worse!

Day 1

Day 1

Day 6

Day 6

How does it feel?

If you've experienced this you will know that there really isn't much to describe it, despite a massive, intense and strict oral hygiene regime your tongue will ulcerate. You will notice chunks missing from it. People will say " let me see " then pull a face and wish they'd never asked! If you haven't had the pleasure of biting bits off your own tongue then I want you to try something ( none painful I promise) say any sentence of your choice and concentrate on how often your tongue moves, twists and changes direction. Now consider or attempt having something to eat and/or drinking through a straw, how do you use your tongue? Lastly try all of those WITHOUT moving your tongue! How did it work out for you?

Day 6

Day 6

Day 1

Day 1

Ways to treat it

There is no easy answer to this and I have always relied on a mixture on things to help with the healing. The tongue is amazing and will heal fast and reform itself (to some extent) within a few weeks. So here are my tips some will sting but doesn't everything right now? You've been warned but it is worth it. Most doctors will struggle to find anything strong enough to help you eat and talk which is why I think a mixture is necessary, remember to always check the labels and be sure that you have no allergies etc I am not a doctor just an epileptic that understands the pain.

  • as soon as you have come round and feel able, eat. You should eat what you can before ulcers form and make it too painful, also drink plenty.
  • brush your teeth and tongue as best as you can as soon as you are aware enough. Get rid of as many germs as possible. This is best achieved by also using a strong mouth wash such as oraldene or listerene. If you have any use Difflam as it contains an anesthetic too if you don't have any get some they do a spray version too that you should get (doctors will often prescribe this). Mouth wash will without doubt sting! but think long term!
  • Get some dispersible painkillers, these are good as they can sink into the wounds helping a little with the pain. I use these for the first week cutting down as I go.
  • Get yourself some Oraljel (blue) it's an adult bonjela type substance with strong numbing powers like nothing else i've found, it's available over the counter (like pretty much everything I mention) and becomes a complete necessity over the really painful days ( I often find those bad days to be 2-3 days after the seizure itself). Use this carefully as it can make some people feel sick when over used and believe me you will overuse it.
  • Continue to use the mouthwash as often as possible, this will also be the best thing to use when you begin to feel your tongue healing to the inside of your mouth. I keep some by my bed at night, I also have nocturnal seizures and often bite my tongue again (though not so severely) and this helps keep on top of it.
  • Try to talk as little as possible. It is best to try to eat if you can, even if the food is mashed or you stick to yoghurts and similar products. I often can't eat at all during days 3-6 and so rely on drinking a mixture of juices and nourishment drinks ( fortisips are good for this)

Keep doing all these things and even when all seems lost one morning you will wake up and realise that you might manage a few spoons of food and you are no longer speaking like a dribbling machine. Even with my most severe bites doing all of these has meant that I can eat and talk almost normally within eight or nine days and completely healed in around a fortnight.

Well I wish you all luck and hope that you enjoy my gross pictures from my recent tongue biting action, feel free to share your stories or pictures too. Is there anything that you use that I haven't mentioned on here?


Malisss on October 04, 2016:

Where can I get a mouth guard from

Florida chick on May 04, 2016:

These comments have been very interesting

Divinity Lopez on April 05, 2016:

To heal faster and ease pain I use coconut oil at least 5 min longer better just do not swallow spit out due to coconut oil grabs bad bacteria in mouth

Kristy Kay on March 18, 2016:

Has anyone used a guard for tongue biting when seizing. My daughter seems to only seize at night and bites her tongue every time!

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Carrie on December 06, 2015:

This was a great relief to read the post and all the comments-- I have been a type 1 diabetic for 25 years now and have had increased problems in the last years with not being aware when my sugar has dropped too low. The latest scare was a low that just seemed to spring out of nowhere and lead me to a seizure where I did some major damage to my poor tongue. After my ER trip and recovery I am eating pea soup and pudding for sure. I have some work to do to get my warnings back and make sure I don't have another episode like that, but I appreciate all the positive words and community here.

Baby daddy on September 06, 2015:

Iv had staples in my head totaled a car almost bit my lip clean off ,fell mouth first on the corner of a concrete step but a few days ago i bit along both sides of my toung and this is the most uncomfortable pain ive ever felt

Tiffany on June 18, 2015:

Had my third seizure this one I was home alone For and I was asleep one couch. My daughter was at her fathers and my boyfriend was at work. I didn't I would have another one so soon I just had one a few days before this and busted my head open on the nightstand woke up not knowing where I was and everything else. But this time I bit my tongue and it's been I think a week now not even sure what day I hady last one, I just know I can't drink through a straw I can eat not even ramen noodles. Trying to yell at my kid when she's doing something wrong or my dog is so painful. These people that suggested smoking are correct. It does help make you hungry, and does take your ind off the pain for a minute but I have yet to find anything that really helps my pain. I can't talk right nor can I eat anything. My jaw feels like it's starting to cramp up like someone said in a different post I just wanna eat a steak! It's the little things people take for granted. Eating ice is even super painful.

Ali hassam on April 04, 2015:

It very paining but Al-hamdulilah I`m recovering :-)

Rhonda on January 25, 2015:

I had My second seizure The first one was like a year ago This time I bit My tounge Really bad And They put Me on seizure meds..

su on November 07, 2014:

my name is su and i have been experience seizures for 26 years and every time i get sick i bite my tounge but i believe things will get better

Derrick on October 16, 2014:

How you guys I'm writing to ask a question and this may sound dumb but I'm 36 years and had my first seziure and woke up in the Er with no idea what had happen to me I had a MRI,CT,and a EEG done and everything came back clean anyway my question is I bit my tongue on the sides on one side I seem to have bittin a little harder and caused it to have cut in it it been about almost a month and seems to be healing but there is still a bump on the one side and its still hurts a little on both sides but will it heal and go back to normal and how long does something like this take... Thanks and have a good day

Liz Sanchez on August 31, 2014:

Had a seizure last night and my tongue it's red , purple and in pain, I've tried mouth wash, ice water , ice cubes etc . Excuse my ignorance but I was reading some of the posts here and I came across those that say that they use a. " smoke bowl" and I have no idea what that is ! Can somebody please explain it to me ,? Also what you smoke in there is it pot or what? I'm clueless but willing to try anything that helps with this horrible pain ! Thanks

steph on August 16, 2014:

I worked a 12hr shift at work got little to no sleep when i got home woke up and didn't remember anything all i knew was my tongue and cheek were killing me come to find out i bit them during my seizure and it does hurt to eat drink or talk

Dedric Cohen on July 12, 2014:

Hey nice to know that I'm not the only one who suffers from clonic tonics I'm African American and it's not really discussed through out our community..... I appreciate the information that you're able to pass on for all of us to share and utilize....

Roland on June 22, 2014:

Just had a seizure 5 days ago, bit my tongue really bad like never before. I can't eat, I am drooling all day, and I don't want to tell my wife because I don't want her to worry. I told her I have a bump on my tongue and it hurts. This is the worst I have ever bitten my tongue.

NicStice on May 21, 2014:

2 nights ago I had my second seizure in 2 months... I went psychotic. I was lying in bed with my 4 year old and my husband was in another room watching tv. I fell asleep and my 4 year old witnessed my seizure. (Worlds greatest parent right here) but he actually went and got my husband and said "mommy isn't feeling well" so my husband came and woke me up and I was so out of it... I just started screaming "WHAT"?? "WHAT"?? And I started swinging at him. I remember the feeling of being terrified. Then I ran out of the bedroom to the back Door but I couldn't get the door open. My husband was on the phone with 911. So he stepped out on the back porch to talk to them. Well I locked him out and got my son went to my room locked that door and went back to sleep. Then a little while later my husband started knocking on the window and it woke me up. I went to the back door and saw all the paramedics and then I started realizing what was going on. I almost bit the tip of my tongue off. It is the worst pain out of all of this. I cant eat or drink or hardly talk. When I do talk it's with a lisp. I'm so ready to eat a steak!!!!! :))

kira on January 24, 2014:

They have me on keppera which istent working a couple days ago I had a bad siezure bit my tough it hurt so bad to eat so really haventbate

Dave on January 02, 2014:

I just had a seizure 2day, its sucks. I had the paramedics come in and check me out, everything was kool, I been having seizures once a month for the past 2 years or so. They only last bout a min or so. I use month wash try to eat yogurt n drink cold water. I also chew on ice cubes or just put one in my mouth to numb the pain if u can handle it do it. try to brush ur teeth as much a possible to avoid germs . I also put my tongue on top of my mouth inside n sqeeze it. Idk this works for me for a few days till the pain goes away n its easy to eat solid food. I'm lucky to not hit my head today cuz I get auras b4 hands. It happened outside shoveling snow. So I ran inside n laid down on my bed. Somehow i managed to take of my boots n pants but my coat had some blood on it from the bitten tougue. Well that's it good luck to everyone n i hope this cures asap!!!!!!!!!!! just remember take ur meds on time!!!!!!!

Ellie on November 14, 2013:

Thanks for the info! I had my

First two grand mal seizures two days ago and bit my tongue during them so hard. The first day wasn't painful really, but today it feels worse and I'm

Sure tomorrow will be worse. I know it could be worse, but when you are diagnosed with epilepsy it's hard not to dwell on the little things. Praying for a cure!

josh on October 23, 2013:

orajel did not work for me, i need something else. my seizures are controlable on medicine but i haven't had money to see dr. and just had a seizure 2 days ago and that will make a total of 4 seizures i have had. and this tongue bite is by far the worst i have ever had. i cant talk, sleep, eat, its burning every minute, and the skin is peeling off around certain parts of my tongue, and its swollen, and there are about 4 holes around my tongue. someone give me an answer to make the pain go away, orajel and ibuprofen doesn't help!!!

feeling the pain on September 24, 2013:

You've got me tempted to try and smoke something. It has been 7 days but still hurts so much I can hardly talk. Don't we all wish we could use "seizure control" as our answer??? Unfortunately I'm hiding the fact that this happened from my boss only because I don't want to risk the company getting scared and me losing my job. Been there, done that. How do you hide the fact though when your speech is so screwed up??? Said I got in a car accident, was hit in the face with the air-bag, causing me to bite my tongue.

T Fly on August 26, 2013:

^^^ Agree 100% Smoke. Trying to be a role model to 16 yr old pain in my rear right now so not an option for me. But agree... Fire one up

Sara Singh on May 20, 2013:

I bit my tongue yesterday SO hard it hurts today!

tgibs17 on September 03, 2012:

I came across this page in my google serch for bitten tongue healing remedies.... caused by seizures. I am not epileptic, i have a physical scar on my brain... long story... and i am experiencing my first bite. I was wondering if there was anything more i could do other than mouth wash for germs, popcicles/ ice for swelling, orajel for pain, and trying to avoid more seizures.

Nish on August 15, 2012:

Ive had seizures all my life, mostly around my period but my birth control seems to lessen them, up to six months apart, yay! My husband takes them in stride, and so does my son even tho he doesn't quite understand yet. I never go to the hospital for them anymore, I've done more for myself with research than any doctor ever has. One doctor gave me a medication I was deathly allergic too.....

h from egypt on August 09, 2012:

i can imagine ur feeling because it happened with me from 4 is very painful till nw, i cant eat any thing even yoghurt and no medication can treat my pain.....i dont know what i should do because iam in a bad mood

Statingfacts on August 07, 2012:

^ to your comment above there I completely agree , I am browsing the web to find what others do after biting their tongues as I just had my seizure two days ago and bit my tongue a lot worse than usual . The day after I smoked a bowl, instantly became hungry after and was able to eat no problem , no pain . Today , I have not smoked a bowl , can barely speak without drooling everywhere , and the pain is indescribable :(:(:( and I have wet Kleenex in my mouth at the sides so my tongue is not scraping against my teeth . So I suggest if my smoke .. Smoke a bowl .. If you don't .. Either numb it with something cold like ice or the oral gel , or stick to ice cream ice caps yogurt soup until it feels a little more healed

justryingtohelp on July 16, 2012:

I know that most of you are going to be against this and don't agree with me but I'm just trying to help. Like stated above, the most important but also the most painful thing to do is eat the day of (or couple of days after) your seizure. To accomplish this, smoke a bowl. It will literally fix all the pain and problems your having that day. I can't be the only one that has this, but right after having a seizure and I come to, I have a headache (probably a migraine) that hurts so badly that I have thrown up from it before. Not only will this bowl fix your headache, but it will also get rid of all your tongue pain for the time being and will make you hungry and you will be able to eat with no problems. I still use those those oral gels; however, I have tried to cut back on them because I started getting addicted to them and ended up using a whole tube in one day.

Anan Celeste from California on July 12, 2012:

It has only happened to me a handfull of times, but I can relate. Is not fun, and for others( like my kids) can be a very scaring experience. I remember once, waking up in the ER completely covered with tubes. My oldest was by my side , I could not speak. She handed me her compact, and pointed at my mouth. I looked like a train ran over my face.LOL! And I was missing a tooth! We both had to laugh. The nurse thought we where crazy. We are just used to it. Great hub!

lindsay on March 21, 2012:

What is the difference between benzocaine and Lidocaine?

Lisa4 from SOUTH FLORIDA! on July 19, 2011:

Its not easy.. easy for many to say " Seizure control is the answer"! stay with the meds and if you need a friend hit me up... from one tongue biter to another... lol

Diffugere_nives (author) on January 17, 2011:

Thanks for your thoughts okmum23. Seizure control is the answer if only they could just say "here it is" but the world isn't that simple. Hope that your youngest is getting along better now. I just started new meds and upped the meds I'm already on, back to keeping detailed seizure diaries and regular trips to hospital but good thoughts often prosper! :-) take care x

Donna Oliver from Midwest, U.S.A. on January 17, 2011:

Oh! I am so sorry to hear about your lacerated tongue. My youngest (an adult now) also has this problem with seizures at night. We changed Neurologists a few months ago in an attempt to stabilize the seizures. I believe seizure control is the answer. Take care!

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