What causes a sore tongue?
If you have a painful tongue then what treatment should you choose?
Painful tongue is a common problem. Many of us experience a sore tongue from time to time. But what should you do about it if it affects you.
Do you need to see a dentist or a doctor? Should you simply purchase a remedy from the local drug store or pharmacy. Could soreness of the tongue or a painful tongue be a pointer towards an underlying disease?
These guidelines might help you decide what to do about a painful tongue but please seek medical attention if you have any doubt or if your soreness persists for more than a few days. You might also gain some help by visiting our new question and answer forum devoted to sore tongue and sore mouth.
Is the pain limited to one area of your tongue?
You should take simple remedies for one week. If the pain persists then please see your doctor or dentist. Your tongue may be rubbing against a jagged tooth or the edge of a denture. Mouth cancer can start with a sore area on the tongue but this is rare. Canker mouth sores or simple apthous ulcers can also cause transient local soreness on the tongue
Is your tongue sore all over?
If your tongue is red and painful all over then you should see your doctor for advice. It's likely that you have glossitis or inflammation of the tongue. This can be caused by an allergy or by a vitamin deficiency and is also quite common in conditions that lead to a dry mouth.
Is your tongue discolored?
If the discolored areas are white or creamy in colour and can easily be scraped off then you probably have thrush or an oral yeast infection. This can be caused by being run down or by taking antibiotics or asthma inhalers. Badly fitted dentures can also cause oral or mouth thrush infections. You should see your doctor or dentist for advice.
If you have painful yellow spots on the tongue and perhaps a high temperature then you probably have a viral infection. Take some simple painkillers and perhaps a mouthwash. If you have not improved in a week then seek help from your doctor.
The advice above applies to people who are in good general health. If you have a pre-existing health problem or problems with immune system suppression then please seek early medical help if you develop mouth or tongue symptoms
Get more information about a painful tongue here or browse our sections on the site that deal with canker sores, dry mouth and sore throat treatment.
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