Do you know that you can have a Sore Tongue due to a number of reasons?
A sore tongue is often not a cause of concern in most cases, however, it can be hard to ignore the feeling.
Along with soreness, your tongue may also have small bumps, white or red patches, raised areas, pain, swelling, and burning sensations.
Moreover, a number of conditions can affect your tongue and these are preventable when you practice good oral hygiene.
But if you have a sore tongue, there are a number of home remedies you can try at home.
With these you can ease soreness, however, it depends on the cause.
If the soreness or pain lasts for more than 2 weeks or presents itself along with other bothersome symptoms, consult your doctor.
Keep on reading to learn more about it in detail.
Causes of a Sore Tongue
Most causes of a sore tongue are temporary and are not serious.
The most common causes of tongue soreness are:
Furthermore, food allergies or sensitivities can also cause it.
On the other hand, some of the less common causes of a sore tongue are:
- vitamin deficiencies like vitamin B12, iron, folate, niacin, or zinc
- oral mucositis that occurs due to chemotherapy and radiotherapy
- burning mouth syndrome
- lichen planus
- Moeller’s glossitis
- Pemphigus Vulgaris
- Sjorgen syndrome
- celiac disease
- oral cancer
- Behcet’s disease
Now, let’s discuss the home remedies and treatment for a sore tongue.
Sore Tounge At-Home Remedies
You can teat most causes of a sore tongue like canker sores, swollen taste buds, and mouth injuries at home.
Moreover, these home remedies can help to ease a sore tongue that occurs due to a more serious medical condition like burning mouth syndrome, or oral thrush as a part of a medical treatment plan.
Let’s discuss them as follows:
Brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush, flossing, and using a mouthwash can help you to get rid of a sore tongue and even prevent infection.
You may also find that using a toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate also helps to relieve soreness.
According to studies, you can use aloe vera for its skin-soothing abilities.
This also applies to the tongue and you can rinse your mouth with aloe juice a few times a day.
In case of pain and swelling, try rinsing your mouth with a mixture of warm water and baking soda.
Mix 1 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of water and you can also make a paste out of baking soda and water.
Then apply it to the sore area.
Milk of Magnesia
Applying small amounts of milk of magnesia, an acid neutralizer to a sore tongue can also help to relieve pain and even promote healing.
As an antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide can help to treat an infection or a sore inside your mouth.
Moreover, make sure to use only 3% of hydrogen peroxide and dilute it with water or equal parts peroxide to water.
Dab the affected area using a cotton swab and after a few seconds, rinse your mouth with warm water.
Gargling salt water is another way you can treat a sore tongue. It can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and prevent infection.
To use this remedy, mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, swish it around your mouth, gargle, and spit.
Other Home Remedies
Some of the other at-home remedies are:
It is important to note that coconut oil may be able to heal a sore tongue as it contains antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Moreover, you can apply the oil directly to the sore with a cotton ball, rubbing it gently,
Or you can swish it around in your mouth and spit it out. This is Oil Pulling.
Many researchers are of the view that chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties.
However, scientific evidence is limited.
In order to try this remedy rinse your mouth with a strong chamomile tea one after cooling it, or you can apply a wet tea bag directly to a sore spot.
You can use antacids to neutralize stomach acid and can also help to relieve a burning or a sore tongue.
This is especially helpful if your condition is due to acid reflux.
Ice, Ice Pops, and Cold Water
It is important to note that ice has numbing qualities, thus, during ice-cold water, or sucking on an ice cube or ice pop can help to relieve some tongue soreness.
This includes soreness that occurs due to dry mouth or a burning mouth.
OTC Treatments for Sore Tongue
You can also visit your local drugstore for TOC topical treatment that works by coating the tongue and thus protects it from further irritation.
Certain examples are:
- benzocaine (Orabase, Zilactin-B)
- OTC hydrogen peroxide rinses (Peroxyl, Orajel)
In case the cause of your sore tongue is due to vitamin deficiency, you can take a multivitamin or a vitamin B complex supplement.
However, make sure to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Avoid Spicy and Irritating Foods
Spicy and acidic foods like pineapple, lemon, and tomato can even worsen tongue soreness.
Until it goes away, avoid taking these foods. Instead eat soft, bland foods, like mashed potatoes, and oatmeal.
Medical Treatments for Sore Tongue
Although home remedies can help to reduce tongue soreness, infections, and inflammatory conditions, as well as chronic illnesses like cancer, you might need medical treatments.
Let’s discuss these treatments as follows:
Bacterial infections like syphilis can also lead to mouth sores.
Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection and make sure to take the full course of antibiotics, even if you start feeling better.
Antifungals such as fluconazole or clotrimazole can help to treat oral thrush.
With the help of prescription mouthwash or antimicrobial mouth rinse can help to prevent infections as a sore tongue heals.
Your doctor can help and prescribe a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation that occurs due to a mouth sore or by another inflammatory condition like lichen planus.
Moreover, you may need a prescription vitamin supplement like a B-12 shot, folate, or iron to help treat a vitamin deficiency.
Medications to increase the Production of Saliva
In the case of dry mouth, there are prescriptions available to help increase the production of saliva.
Treatment of oral cancer often consists of surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.
Visiting a Doctor
In case you notice certain changes in your tongue, like changes in color, bumps, or sores that also lasts for more than 2 weeks, then you should visit a doctor or dentist.
Moreover, you should see a doctor sooner if you have the following symptoms along with a sore tongue:
- bleeding gums
- inability to eat or drink
- blisters or sores in other parts of your body
- white patches in the mouth
Your doctor can determine if your tongue sores are due to an underlying medical condition or if you simply need to make certain changes to your oral hygiene routine.
Furthermore, you can also test to rule out less-common causes of tongue soreness, like burning mouth syndrome and oral cancer.
Tongue issues that might occur due to infections like oral thrush or syphilis, will also likely need a prescription to get rid of the infections.
Therefore, it is important to avoid delaying scheduling an appointment with a doctor or dentist.
A sore tongue is often not a cause of concern and may even resolve on its own within two weeks or so. In the meantime, you can also try certain home remedies to ease the pain as you heal. These include using salt water rinse, aloe vera juice, milk of magnesia, hydrogen peroxide, honey, chamomile, coconut oil, and antacids.
Although home remedies can help you treat the symptoms and ease the pain, on other hand, you will need medical treatment for conditions like oral thrush, vitamin deficiencies as a part of the medical treatment plan that your doctor or dentist recommends. However, make sure to visit your doctor or dentist if you experience fever, rash, tongue, fatigue, bleeding gums, white patches in the mouth, diarrhea, inability to eat or drink, or blisters or sores on other parts of your body.
Your doctor and dentist can help you find the cause of a sore tongue and in most cases, you will only need to adjust your oral and dental hygiene like brushing, flossing, or using a certain mouth rinse to treat your condition. While in case of other underlying medical conditions, make sure to follow the treatment plan by your doctor or dentist.