Can Your Tongue Grow Back? – Oral Anatomy Uncovered

The tongue is one of the essential parts of your body. I cannot imagine what life would be without a tongue; you need to speak, eat, drink fluids, and so much more. 

These uses make the tongue an invaluable part of your body, and you have to take good care of it.

A tongue getting cut was an ordinary matter in medieval movies, and some surgeries might need the tongue to get cut. 

If, for some reason, your tongue got cut out of your mouth, can it grow back? Let us get a deeper look into this;

Can Your Tongue Grow Back?

No, your tongue cannot grow back on its own when it gets cut in half, but if it’s a small cut, then it can heal. Human bodies are not regenerative like those of some reptiles, the wound will heal, but it will not grow back. 

The only way to deal with this is to have surgery to reattach the tongue and go through therapy for you to learn how to speak again.

How To Deal With Injuries To The Tongue

As mentioned before, the tongue is a vital organ helping with the articulation of jaws and other functions. 

If the tongue gets wounded or cut, it will adversely affect all the other processes; thus, the injuries are treated in emergency departments.

The tongue laceration can be caused by a seizure, fall, or any other accident that can occur to the mouth, like biting yourself while chewing. Cuts caused by strokes are commonly seen on the side of the tongue.

Most mouth and tongue injuries get healed very fast and rarely get infected due to the generous blood supply in these areas. 

Injuries that need serious attention have to be looked at by a specialist, and here some severe injuries;

  • Bisecting wounds that cover large areas
  • Large flaps that can’t heal correctly on their own
  • Wounds that persistently bleed after 15 minutes
  • Cuts that are wider than 1cm or gaping wounds
  • U-shaped wounds and avulsions or amputations on the tongue

All these are serious injuries that need the addition of flaps to cover the damaged areas. A professional is required to ensure that the tongue heals while maintaining its mobility and all other features.

For minor wounds, you can treat them at home with a few available supplies. All you need is an ice cube or Popsicle, a clean washcloth or gauze, saltwater, or hydrogen peroxide.

  1. Suck on the Popsicle or ice cube for several minutes to help numb the wounded area.
  2. Use the washcloth or gauze to press on the area that is bleeding until the bleeding stops. If it doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, get immediate medical attention since the tongue has a lot of blood, and losing it is not safe.
  3. Rinse your mouth and spit after the bleeding has stopped. You could ideally use a solution of one part Hydrogen peroxide and two parts water, depending on what is available. 
  4. Do not eat salty or acidic foods for the next day or two to give the wound a chance to heal.

If the accident happens before bedtime or the tongue hurts a lot, you can use a painkiller. If you are an adult treating a child, ensure you seem calm and act like the wound is not a big deal to keep the child calm since they take their cues from you.

Tongue Lesions You Should Know About

The tongue could have some lesions, some red, white, and others black. Some are normal, and you can resolve them by observing proper oral hygiene, while some need more professional attention. Here are some common lesions you should know of;

1. The Canker Sore

This is the most common lesion, and almost everyone has had it at some point in their life. A canker sore starts as a small painful bump, and it takes about two weeks before it vanishes. 

If you notice a lump and it persists after two weeks, ensure you see your dentist.

2. Linea alba

This is also a typical lesion, and it afflicts the cheeks. If you move your cheeks aside, you could notice several white lines on the cheeks or the sides of your tongue. 

This is caused by constantly grinding your teeth, sucking in your cheeks, or pressure or irritation in the mouth. 

You can see a dentist, ensure it is not severe, and be provided with a nightguard to prevent more lesions.

3. Cold Sore

This is also called the herpes simplex virus, and it can last for years or even your whole life. They are contagious in their active phase when they are red with some fluid in them. Ensure you have no mouth-to-mouth contact with anyone at this time.

If you have a cold sore, there are special lasers that can reduce pain and make you more comfortable for the period of the lesion.

4. The HPV Virus

This is another contagious lesion that can be transmitted from mother to children or mouth to mouth. It is common on the soft palate, tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth, but it can show up anywhere.

They differ in shape and size; hence they might resemble a common wart. The best move is to give your dentist a visit.

Causes Of White Tongue Coating And Solutions

You could be having a problem with your tongue since it develops a white coating that you can’t entirely brush off permanently. 

This coating is one of the major causes of bad breath, and it can cause gum infections and even tooth decay.

All these will significantly affect how you relate with other people, and it can damage your life if not addressed quickly.

If you are wondering what causes the white tongue and looking for solutions, read on.

Some significant causes for white tongue are;

1. Poor Oral Hygiene routine

Hygiene is everything when it comes to your mouth. The mouth and tongue provide an optimum condition for the growth of bacteria.

Putting this into consideration, a solid hygiene routine has to be developed to get rid of all the bacteria.

Failing to clean your tongue while brushing or forgetting to brush altogether could lead to a white tongue. Use mouthwash if possible to ensure you have a clean mouth and tongue at all times. 

2. Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle will determine a lot in terms of your oral health. Everything from stress, dehydration, alcohol, and smoking could lead to developing a white coating on your tongue. Even the food you eat could have the same effect on your tongue.

Tongue piercing and increased meat intake could also be a reason for the buildup of bacteria on your tongue. 

Check your diet to see what foods you commonly eat since they could be the root of your problem.

3. Medical Conditions

Several medical issues can bring about a white layer on your tongue. These include dry mouth, postnasal drip, and sinusitis. The conditions will lead to the layer, which in turn leads to more oral infections.

Conditions such as gingivitis thrive when you have many bacteria in your mouth; thus, the white tongue will lead to their increase.

The good news is that you can eliminate the white tongue by developing an effective tooth cleaning routine and visiting a dentist regularly. Here are some tips on how you can get rid of white tongue.

  • Use anti-dental brushes since they are the best way to eliminate all the bacteria on your teeth and tongue. This will prevent the white tongue and other gum infections such as gingivitis.
  • Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper before you brush your teeth. Start from the back and scrape coming towards the front. Ensure you do this two times a day, then brush afterward to kill all the remaining bacteria before rinsing your mouth.
  • Ensure you brush your teeth every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. After this, ensure you have a 60-second swirl of mouthwash to complete the routine.

Spending only 10 minutes on your oral hygiene every day will get you a disease-free tongue and gums that will eliminate bad breath and any other harmful conditions. 

Conclusion

Your tongue has impressive healing capabilities, and it takes about four days to get fully healed in case of a small cut. 

However, large lacerations or complete amputations will not regrow without reattachment surgery.

To avoid getting issues with a cut tongue, ensure you immediately clean the wound or go to the hospital if the injury is serious. 

Rinsing the wound with salt water will help kill bacteria and prevent infections. You have to maintain good dental hygiene to avoid getting lesions or any other tongue infections. 

This is because tongue infections could lead to bad breath and other disorders that will ruin the confidence and comfort of those you talk to.

 

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