April 20, 2009

Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Remedies for Sore Tongue

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

A sore tongue is often caused due to abnormal lesions on the tongue, infection, malignancy, swelling, or trauma. When suffering from a sore tongue, you may feel any of the following sensations: dull pain, burning sensation, searing pain, acute pain, or pins-and-needles. Glossitis is a general condition that arises from a sore tongue, where the tongue tends to get inflamed and changes color. If the pain or soreness on the tongue is constant and worsens over time, it could be a sign of a more serious disease.


A sore tongue can arise with other symptoms that may differ depending on the root cause. Common symptoms associated with a sore tongue are as follows:

  • Difficulty while chewing and swallowing your food
  • Discoloration of the tongue, abnormal textures (too rough or too smooth), and swelling

Other possible symptoms that could manifest with a sore tongue are a burning sensation; extreme salivation; bad breath; oral rash; oral blisters, sores or ulcers; sore white tongue; flu-like symptoms such as aches and pains, cough, fatigue, fever, headache or sore throat; lack of interest in food; and swollen gums.

In a number of cases, the symptoms could be a sign of a more serious illness. These symptoms include coughing up blood; lips and fingernails turning blue; high fever; modification in the level of awareness; difficulty in swallowing food; unexpected and swift swelling of the face, tongue or lips;  problems while breathing; a warm tongue, which is red in color; and vomiting and nausea.


A sore tongue can be caused either due to infection, an injury or trauma to the tongue, or other underlying disorders that tend to affect the tongue. Infectious diseases that could lead to a sore tongue are strep infection, herpetic stomatitis, yeast infection, or syphilis.

Your tongue could face trauma if you bite your tongue, suffer from canker sores, eat hot and spicy food, have blisters or ulcers in your mouth, burn your tongue, cut your tongue, injure your tongue with dental appliances, chew tobacco, and have jagged teeth or dentures that have not been fitted correctly. A sore tongue could also be a sign of an underlying disorder including tongue cancer or oral cancer, psychogenic pain, pernicious anemia, pemphigus vulgaris, oral lichen planus, iron deficiency anemia, geographic tongue, canker sores on the tongue, or burning tongue syndrome.


The main aim in sore tongue treatment is to get the inflammation under control and try to alleviate the pain. You don’t always require a trip to the doctor unless the inflammation is extremely severe or the cause of the swelling is serious. Here are a few ways to treat a sore tongue.

  • If the tongue is swollen due to an infection, you may have to take medication that is antifungal, antimicrobial, or antibiotic. You will need to visit a doctor for this.
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene by flossing your teeth and brushing at least twice a day will help prevent a sore tongue.
  • Keep away from irritants like alcohol, hot and spicy foods, and tobacco that could aggravate the swelling further.
  • Changes in your diet and supplements that help with nutritional deficiencies and anemia can be used.

Home Remedies

There are certain home remedies that you can try to alleviate pain from a sore tongue.

  • Glycerin: Glycerin helps ease the inflammation and pain that you may experience while suffering from a swollen tongue. Apply it over bumps that are causing you any pain. It is readily available over-the-counter at all pharmacies.
  • Milk: Another agent that is known to soothe a sore tongue is milk mixed with honey or milk along with half a teaspoon of turmeric. Have the mixture twice a day.
  • Saline Water: Use lukewarm salt water to gargle your mouth as it helps soothe your tongue. Other ingredients that you can try that help with the pain and swelling include baking soda and honey, which is known to have healing properties.
  • Tea: Placing a wet tea bag on your tongue can help alleviate the feeling of soreness; this happens because tea contains tannin a compound that helps relieve pain as well as cool the tongue. If you enjoy drinking herbal teas, chamomile is a good option to help soothe your tongue.
  • Vitamin B: Add foods that are rich in vitamin B12 to your diet. Some of the foods that you can incorporate into your daily menu include beans, fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, lentils, and seafood.
  • Vitamin C: Make sure that you eat food that contains vitamin C. Foods that are rich in vitamin C include fruits like lemon, muskmelon, orange, strawberries, and vegetables like broccoli, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers. Drink plenty of unsweetened cranberry juice as well.
  • Yogurt: Eating a cup of yogurt helps give you fast relief from the soreness and pain.
  • If all else fails, try the tried and tested method of placing or sucking an ice cube on your tongue.


  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001053.htm
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002048/