Your tongue plays a very important role in your daily life. It helps you talk, chew, swallow, and taste all of your favorite foods and drinks. But, if you know what tongue pain or soreness feels like, it’s difficult to think about anything else. Keep reading to learn the possible reasons for your tongue pain and how to maintain good oral health from your emergency dentist in Colorado Springs.
What’s Causing My Sore Tongue?
There are many factors that can play a role in making your tongue hurt or sore. Here are some of the more common causes of tongue pain:
If you’re not familiar with canker sores, they are small, round, white spots with a red outline that can show up inside your lips, cheeks, and tongue. Experts don’t know what exactly causes them, but they think your chances of getting them will increase if:
- You eat spicy or acidic foods
- You have emotional stress
- You have physical stress from an illness
- You experience hormonal changes, especially in women
Usually, canker sores will heal on their own but if you’re noticing them more than three times a year, contact your dentist in Colorado Springs.
These are different from canker sores. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are highly contagious. They can spread from skin-to-skin contact and look like blisters.
They can appear outside the mouth, but on the tongue as well. If you think you have cold sores, talk to your doctor about antiviral medicines to help.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Do you feel a burning sensation in your tongue? Burning mouth syndrome causes a burning, numb, or tingling feeling in your tongue without any visible symptoms. Because it doesn’t show any problems, dentists won’t be able to identify burning mouth syndrome, so you’ll have to express your concerns verbally.
Treatment will vary based on the severity of pain and your medical history but drinking more fluids and avoiding tobacco and alcohol can help control the pain.
A tumor can look like a sore spot, red patch, or lump on the tongue that won’t go away. The way to tell the difference between a tumor and a canker sore is to look for symptoms like numbness, pain when swallowing, and unexplained bleeding.
Tumors can be benign or cancerous. To be sure, contact your dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a tumor or are experiencing any of the symptoms described above.
There are more signs of tongue soreness, but now you know what to look out for in some of the more common causes.
What Can I Do to Keep My Tongue Healthy?
Keeping your tongue and mouth healthy can not only decrease your chances of tongue pain, but it can help you identify any tongue problems you may have early on. Check out some good oral healthcare tips below:
- Brush your teeth every day, twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush your tongue to clean off bacteria.
- Floss at least once a day to clean out plaque from in between your teeth.
- See a dentist every 6 months for regular checkups and cleanings.
Knowing some of the causes of tongue pain and how to take care of it is half the battle. Talk to your local dentist if you’re experiencing any soreness or pain in your tongue that won’t subside.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Ken Gasper is dedicated to providing the best care possible to his patients. He is a member of various dental associations and still participates in continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on the most recent technology and techniques. He currently runs his own practice and can be contacted through his website or by phone at (719) 599-0700.