Pain in the tongue

Pain in the tongue usually has a clear reason, but there are also causes that are not so obvious and require treatment.


What causes tongue pain?

A painful tongue is often caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. More specifically, people with poor eating habits are affected to a greater extent.

Smoking also leads to tongue pain, because the tongue is irritated by inhaling toxic smoke and chemical substances.

Possible causes of tongue pain at a glance:

Among the most common causes are injuries that provoke constant irritation.
Often tongue pain arises from biting your tongue when eating or talking.
The taste buds of the tongue can increase in size and become inflamed, resulting in pain.

Wisdom teeth Wisdom teeth
can cause tongue pain before and after pulling.
If they grow inwards, they may get in the way of the tongue and injure the mucous membrane.
If tongue pain occurs after pulling the teeth, injuries have occurred during the procedure.

Oral infection
An infection in the oral cavity caused by bacteria, yeast or viruses can cause burning and pain behind the tongue, but also in the upper tongue and at the tip.
As with all infections, people with a weakened immune system have an increased risk of infection-related tongue pain.

The painful irritation of the tongue may indicate an aphthae causing mouth and tongue ulcers.
The symptomatology of aphthae increases when the patient is under stress.
With simple home remedies and over-the-counter medications, this type of tongue pain can be remedied.

Dental problems Lack of oral hygiene and dental problems
can result in a painful tongue.
One of the risk factors for frequently occurring tongue pain is poorly fitting dentures.

While tongue pain is usually harmless, it can also be a symptom of throat or oral cancer.
Oral cancer is usually symptom-free in the initial phase, but as it progresses, it becomes increasingly symptomatic.
A painful tongue should therefore not be underestimated if the condition does not improve within a week.

Tumor of the sublingual salivary glands or parotid glands is very rare, in this case the pain occurs under the tongue.
An oral or tonsil tumor leads to pain in the back of the tongue and difficulty swallowing.
ATTENTION: Even if some cancer-typical symptoms occur, a tumor does not automatically have to be present.
There are numerous symptoms caused by neoplasia, so it is often confused with other diseases.

As already indicated, the painful tongue can indicate a disease.
Health problems that can cause tongue pain in rare cases include diabetes, inflammation of the esophageal mucosa (esophagitis) caused by reflux disease, and anemia.
A correct diagnosis is therefore of utmost importance, especially if other suspicious symptoms occur.

Saliva stones
Stones of the salivary glands can partially or completely obstruct the flow of saliva.
In this case, a painful swelling under the tongue is noticeable, especially when eating, because the salivary gland then produces more saliva.
The pain may occur when swallowing.

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia can be the cause of tongue pain. Very severe pain occurs along the irritated tongue-throat nerve.
Neuralgia can be caused by age, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tumors or occur for no apparent reason.
Symptoms include pain in the tongue, throat, ears and tonsils.

If the tongue suddenly swells, it may be an allergic reaction.
The consequences are shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing.
In some cases, it is a medical emergency that needs to be treated immediately by a doctor.
The most common causes of tongue pain in children are allergies.

Heavy smokers often suffer from tongue and sore throats.
Cigarette smoke has an irritating effect on the tongue and oral mucosa.
When the tongue becomes inflamed, any smoke inhalation becomes a painful sensation and burns on the surface of the tongue.

Hot food and drinks The tongue can be injured by hot food and drinks
If the tongue suffers burns, eating spicy or spicy foods can cause irritation.
Eating sharp-edged foods (crackers and chips) can be very uncomfortable with an injured tongue.

Rarer causes of tongue pain:

  • Viral infections such as hand-foot-and-mouth disease (false foot-and-mouth disease), epirotic aphthae or cold sores.
  • glossitis rhombica mediana – a smooth red spot develops in the middle or back of the tongue; it is assumed that a yeast infection is the cause.
  • The syndrome tongue burning (glossodynia) refers to a burning pain at the tip of the tongue and often occurs in depressed people.
  • Lichen planus is a chronic skin condition that causes itchy skin lichen.
    Lichen planus can also appear in the mouth and cause painful spots on the tongue.
  • Behçet’s disease is a rare disease that means inflammation of blood vessels; also, the formation of ulcers in the mouth is possible.
  • Bladder addiction or pemphigus vulgaris is a rare but severe autoimmune disease that leads to the formation of painful blisters on the skin; affected are the mouth, nose, throat, anus or genitals.
  • Throat and tongue syndrome is a rare condition characterized by pain in the upper section of the neck and on the tongue, but occurs only on one side. Symptoms also include a loss of sensitivity of the tongue.
  • Symptoms occur with the rotation of the cervical spine.
  • Medications for toothache such as reserpine or aspirin and certain mouthwashes.
  • Moeller’s glossitis is a type of tongue inflammation.
  • Tongue cancer, however, is rare.

Concomitant symptoms of tongue pain

The main accompanying symptoms are:

  • Ache
  • Loss of sense of taste
  • Increased sensitivity to heat and spicy foods
  • May have trouble eating, swallowing, and speaking

Usually, it is a short-term disorder that does not involve serious health problems.

The tongue pain would have to pass by itself within a few days without the need for treatment.

A prolonged duration of the pain should not be underestimated, because it can indicate a disease.

Diagnosis of tongue pain

In order to cure the symptom, the cause must first be investigated.
The dentist or family doctor examines the mouth and analyzes the patient’s medical history.
He must inquire about trauma and other factors that may be the cause of pain.
Sometimes a chronic skin disease is the trigger for tongue pain.
In this case, a dentist specializing in the oral cavity is the right place to go.

What complications can tongue pain bring?

The possible complications of tongue pain vary greatly depending on the cause and can progress progressively. If the painful tongue is caused by a serious medical condition, complications and permanent damage may remain if proper treatment is not provided.

A doctor’s visit is important if the pain persists or other unusual symptoms occur.
If the underlying condition is diagnosed and treated, possible complications can be avoided, such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Shortness of breath (obstruction of the airways)
  • Swallowing
  • Spread of infection
  • Removal of the tongue due to a severe infection or malignant tumor

Diet for painful tongue

Conventional medicine recommends eating plenty of fresh yogurt.
Yogurt should be on the daily menu.
Effect of yogurt:

  • Relieves the burning sensation on the tongue.
  • Promotes the healing of mouth and tongue ulcers.
  • Prevents relapses.

Take enough vitamin C to meet the daily requirement. Foods high in vitamin C are: honeydew melons, broccoli, yellow and red peppers, and fresh cranberry juice without added sugar.
Strawberries and oranges are also a good source of vitamin C.

Natural remedies for tongue pain

Place a wet tea bag on the aching, burning area of the tongue.
The tea bag absorbs the pain and is considered an effective home remedy.
Tea contains tannin, a substance with an astringent effect.
Tannin is a powerful painkiller and relieves tongue burning.
Chamomile tea also has a calming effect on the irritated tongue.
The cooling of the tongue by ice cubes is a tried and tested home remedy that numbs the nerve endings and thereby relieves the pain. The effect is immediate.

Sore areas on the tongue can be quickly healed with glycerin.
Apply glycerine regularly to the affected areas.
In this way, the ulcers are reduced and the pain is effectively combated.

Poplar fig (peepal tree)
Prepare a mixture of honey with leaves and roots of poplar fig (peepal tree).
This paste is applied to the painful tongue.

Mouthwashes with warm salt water
This remedy cleanses the mouth and accelerates the process of polymerization.
Gargle four to five times a day to achieve an effect.

Papaya The papaya
is ideal for treating sore spots on the tongue.
Papaya should be included in the daily diet plan if the tongue has sores.
Green bananas and apples also show an excellent effect in this case.

Cheese curd and rice
Curd and rice are very effective on sore spots on the tongue. Cheese curd gives the body sufficient vitamins and relieves burning.
Yogurt should be part of the diet.

Often there is an obvious reason for tongue pain, smoking is one of them.
Smoking can weaken the immune system and promote the occurrence of infection.
If the pain visibly subsides when abstaining from tobacco consumption, the cause of the tongue pain is clearly smoking.
But the cause of pain is not always clear.
If the pain persists for more than 48 hours, the opinion of a species should be sought.

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