Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sore Tongue




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.


Medical term for a sore tongue is stomatitis. It is a very common disease but with very common reasons. This is not a very serious problem but doctor should be consulted whenever it turns severe.


Causes of sore tongue and mouth

It is a general belief that sore tongue is caused due to B-Complex deficiency. Whereas most common causes of a sore tongue is Antibiotic Glossitis. This is caused due to over use of antibiotic which results in:
  • A shake in normal bacteria and fungus.
  • B-Complex deficiency
  • Irritation due to chemical imbalance in tongue.
Minor infections or irritations are the most common cause of tongue soreness.

Candida infection can cause a red or white irritated sore tongue. When candida is white, it easily rubs off from the surface of the tongue. Candida often appears as a secondary infection following some earlier medical problem. It is important to consider other medical causes when Candida appears.


If a patient does not drink enough water, dehydration can cause discomfort and the tongue may feel furry and dry. Drink plenty of water and avoid foods, such as alcohol and caffeine, that can dehydrate.

A patient with an iron deficiency may experience a sore tongue. Several vitamin deficiencies such as B12 or folate deficiency can contribute to the problem. Some diseases such as diabetes, Crohn's disease and coeliac disease can also be the cause.


Food allergies can cause irritation of the sensitive red skin. Geographic tongue is common and may contribute to the problem. Allergies to toothpastes, mouthwashes, or chewing gums can be involved. Many prescription medications have side effects.

Oral ulcers can also be the cause. In most case, the ulcers can be seen on the tongue. Smoking or dipping tobacco can irritate the tongue (nicotine stomatitis). In rare cases, it may be an early presentation of oral cancer, usually carcinoma.


In most cases, if you have a sore tongue, it is a good idea to visit your dentist and physician. A complete blood count can determine if anaemia is a cause and a glucose spot test screens for diabetes.

If the dentist, physician or patient are concerned, a biopsy can be taken to rule out serious causes.
Other causes are lichen planus, salivary disorders, metabolic disorders, hormonal imbalances, chemical or drug toxicities, kidney disease, drug sensitivities, blood dyscrasias and collagen vascular disorder. In some people, the attack is more often. Ulcer appears in the tongue during its attack. It can be painful with yellow type appearance. This can appear and disappear without any reason.

Possible causes of tongue pain:
  • anemia
  • cancer
  • dentures that irritate the tongue
  • oral herpes (ulcers)
  • neuralgia
  • referred pain from teeth and gums
  • referred pain from the heart
Remedy/Treatment for a Sore Tongue
The common remedy for a sore tongue or treatment for a sore tongue are:
  • Mix half tsp of turmeric with warm cup of milk. Use it 2 times a day.
  • Fry the alum in frying pan. This will dehydrate the alum. Make a powder out of it and mix it with honey. Apply this on affected area.

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