5 Most Painful Everyday Injuries
1. Biting Your Tongue; When the plunger cusps (the teeth on the side of your mouth) slam down on your tongue, breaking through the surface of the muscle.
Why it hurts so much: “Three of the strongest muscles in the body are in the mouth,” says Dr. Brian Kantor, cosmetic dentist and partner of Lowenberg, Lituchy and Kantor dental practice in New York City. These “muscles of mastication” include the masseter, the temporalis, and the medial pterygoid. “Research suggests that these muscles can close the teeth with a force of over 50 pounds on the incisor teeth and up to 200 pounds on the back molars,” says Kantor. In worst case-scenarios, the lingual artery in the tongue is severed, which can cause death from blood loss. While most bites are less traumatic, chomping down on sensitive tissue, nerve endings and veins can bring tears to the eyes.
What to do: Apply pressure to stop any bleeding. “Gauze works best but if none is available, push the tongue to the roof of the mouth to create pressure that will cease blood flow,” Kantor says. Then, use ice or an ice pack to reduce inflammation and bleeding. Follow this with a salt-water rinse (one cup warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt), which will clean out the cut, kill the bacteria and speed the healing process. If you’re still in pain, a dab of over-the-counter tooth pain numbing gel works wonders, too.