How much time do you spend thinking about your tongue? Probably not much—unless you happen to accidentally bite your tongue. Then the reason why your tongue hurts is obvious. However, there are other reasons, too. In this blog, a dentist in Washington discusses causes of tongue pain and treatments.
If your tongue suddenly becomes sore, swollen or tender, then you may be having an allergic reaction to something you’ve recently ingested, whether that is food, a beverage, medication or even a new brand of toothpaste.
To figure out what is causing the allergy, your dentist may ask that you keep track of when the reaction happens and what you’ve had to eat or drink around that time. This way you’ll know what to avoid.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome, or BMS, can feel like burning or tingling in your mouth. For some people, the condition is chronic, while others only experience the sensation periodically.
The exact cause is not known, but some possibilities include stress, anxiety, poorly fitting dentures, allergies and nutritional deficiencies.
Because the causes vary, the treatment your dentist recommends will depend on your own medical history.
A canker sore is a small, painful ulcer that can appear on your tongue, as well as on your lips, throat or anywhere in the mouth. Although they can be uncomfortable, they are generally nothing to worry about.
Multiple factors can cause a canker sore including:
- Acidic or spicy foods
- Vitamin deficiency
- Injury in the mouth, such as biting your tongue or the inside of your cheek
Canker sores usually go away on their own.
Thrush can appear after you’ve had a round of antibiotics. It usually shows as a white patchy film on the tongue or at the back of your throat, and it may burn or cause sensitivity. Thrush happens when candida, a fungus that is normally present in low amounts inside the oral cavity, overgrows, which is a risk with some antibiotics. Treatment may require a prescription for anti-fungal medication.
Take Care of Your Tongue
When you brush your teeth, take a few seconds to brush your tongue, too. Lots of bacteria live on your tongue, so it’s always a good idea to brush or to use a tongue scraper. And because some of the conditions that cause tongue pain are related to the ups and downs of daily life, stress management techniques may be helpful.
As always, if you have any concerns about any aspect of your oral health, be sure to call a dentist in Washington.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Mace is a dentist in Washington, MO. He and his staff are dedicated to providing all of the services you need to have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. If you need to schedule a dental checkup or another service, contact us today.