A sore tongue is an issue that could not be easily ignored. It can disrupt with eating or speaking and might be a sign of a health condition.
Possible causes of a sore tongue
Biting down on the tongue can trigger intense pain. Eating hot foods can also burn the tongue and cause blisters. Grinding the teeth or clenching them hard can also trigger pain on the outer borders of the tongue.
Enlarged papillae on the tongue might form. These are whitish or reddened bumps that might indicate that the taste buds are swollen and can be quite painful. In most cases, they settle in a few days.
An individual might end up with a sore tongue, but a specific site is affected. If the tongue is checked, there is an oval or round ulcer or canker sore. It might have a white, red, yellow or gray appearance.
Food sensitivity or allergy
Certain foods can trigger a sore tongue which is called as oral allergy syndrome. It is often triggered by vegetables, raw fruits and some tree nuts.
Smoking can trigger tongue pain. If an individual smoke, he/she is at higher risk for ending up with cancer of the throat or tongue.
What are the uncommon causes?
- Vitamin deficiency and anemia
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Lichen planus
- Certain drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Pemphigus vulgaris
When to consult a doctor
A doctor must be seen if there are changes in the tongue that appear troublesome. These changes might include alterations in color, sores, lumps and pain that lasts for 2 weeks or longer.
In most instances, a sore tongue is not an issue of concern but consulting a doctor can rule out other rare causes of discomfort such as oral cancer or pemphigus vulgaris. The doctor might also prescribe drugs to deal with oral thrush, infections or other issues.