There’s a variety of possible reasons for tongue pain, and a bitten tongue is only one of them. Most tongue injuries actually happen for other reasons. Here are the most common causes for tongue pain and how to find tongue pain relief:
It seems like the tongue is a prime target for injury. Biting your tongue can cause major pain, while minor irritation can come from broken teeth or braces. If your tongue suffers a mild laceration, rinse the area with clean water and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Consult a medical professional if symptoms worsen or stitches are needed.
Oral Thrush on the Tongue
If you have white bumps on your tongue and/or cheeks, you may have oral thrush. This condition, also known as oral candidiasis, occurs when an overgrowth of fungus spreads through your mouth. It’s common in people with compromised immune systems, particularly babies and older adults. Medications like inhalers can also cause oral thrush. It can be treated with an antifungal medication prescribed by your doctor.
Canker and Cold Sores Causing Tongue Pain
While they are different, both canker and cold sores can appear in your mouth. A cold sore, caused by herpes simplex virus type 1, is a type of blister that can “itch, burn, tingle,” and even leak fluid for typically seven to 10 days. Cold sores usually form on or around the lips, but can sometimes form inside the mouth. A canker sore is a small ulcer with a gray or white center that occurs inside the mouth. They can also form on the side of the tongue and can last one to two weeks. While cold sores are contagious, and travel via saliva, canker sores are not. Both can be treated with ointments. Consult your medical or dental practitioner for recommendations.
Burning Mouth Syndrome and the Tongue
Burning mouth symdrome (BMS) is a “painful, complex condition often described as a burning, scalding, or tingling feeling in the mouth.” BMS is common among older adults, and can be more frequent for men than women. It is the result of damaged nerves and can signify other medical problems. Consult your doctor for treatment options if you experience symptoms like this.
Spicy or acidic foods and drinks can cause the tongue to be sore, and can also make tongue soreness worse. If your tongue is sore, consider whether you ate salsa, lemonade or lots of pineapple the prior day to rule out acidic foods as the cause of your discomfort.
Tongue pain can also be related to other, more serious oral health issues or allergies. If you’re experiencing tongue pain or have concern about your oral health, consult your dentist and/or your doctor to discover the problem and possible treatment avenues. Don’t delay. A trip to the dentist just might save your life. Need a dentist in your area? Click here.