Life is full of annoyances. Some are trivial, like finding a parking spot but not having any change to feed the meter. Others are of a more serious nature, along the lines of a loud neighbor who not only robs you of your sleep, but pushes you ever so close to the edge over which rests a lengthy period behind bars with other exhausted assailants.
Recently I experienced one of the less dire, but oh so bothersome annoyances. My tongue has been in my mouth since birth. My teeth arrived about a year later. That is a long time for them to get to know each other and their ways. Like a married couple who go through a virtual choreography in the kitchen at breakfast time; knowing the others’ moves and silently adjusting accordingly. Why then does my tongue from time to time stupidly interfere with the operation of my teeth? The result of this confrontation never varies; a soft tissue pressed between two incisors always ends badly for the tongue.
Biting my tongue is one of those little annoyances that drives me to distraction. Not only does it hurt like a bastard, but there is no one else to blame. Being able to ascribe blame somehow lessens a blow. But a bitten tongue can only be the fault of one person (uber-passionate romantic encounters excluded).
It is so very irksome to be enjoying a tasty meal, or a wad of bubblegum for that matter, only to have that pleasure screech to a halt by the sensation of tooth chomping tongue. Your mouth feels as though you have become a vampire as it fills with blood, and your eyes water. A good bite will leave a sensitive welt on your tongue that will bother you for days.
A close second to the tongue bite occurs when all is going well, teeth doing their thing and tongue fulfilling its function when, like an uninvited guest, the inside of my mouth drops in between upper and lower molars. Just as painful as the bitten tongue, but less likely to draw blood, the cheek pinch leaves a ridge on the inside of my mouth that will continue to cause grief for days as it repeatedly gets nipped. The gift that keeps giving if you will.
There are a few things you can do to ease the pain of a bitten tongue. Ice is about the best solution, it reduces swelling and numbs the tongue lessening the pain. If the ice is allowed to remain in the mouth, ideally floating in a pool of Jack Daniels, the pain can be all but eliminated. Another suggestion is to use Listerine to ensure no infection sets in. Should you select this option may I suggest you engage the assistance of several friends to hold your limbs down on a bed because when the Listerine hits open tongue sore it will look like something from The Exorcist.