Your tongue is probably one of those things you give very little thought to – until it looks or feels different than it usually does. If your tongue is sore or it just doesn’t look right, should you be concerned? Is this something you should see your dentist for?
Common tongue problems
The good news is that many tongue problems will go away on their own or are easily treated, although there are exceptions to this. Some common tongue problems are:
• Canker sores. These small bumps can be painful and annoying, but they aren’t contagious and will usually go away on their own. Besides the tongue, they may also appear on the inner cheek or inner lips.
• Oral thrush. These are painful white or yellow lesions, and your doctor or dentist may recommend antifungal medication.
• Bite or other injury. Accidentally biting down on your tongue can hurt way more than it should, and it can cause temporary swelling, but this will pass on its own.
• Tumors. A tumor may appear as a sore spot or lump and cause pain, numbness, swelling, and bleeding. You should see your doctor right away if you suspect a tongue tumor.
• Nutritional deficiency. Your tongue may be sore and burning because your diet is lacking in some way. You may be deficient in vitamin B12 or iron. Make sure to eat right and take multivitamins.
• Burning mouth syndrome. This can be very painful and can last years, and besides a burning sensation, your tongue may feel numb or tingly. Your doctor or dentist will diagnose the problem and give you treatment options.
• Cold sores. These are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are very contagious. They can appear both inside and outside the mouth, and can cause a burning sensation and pain when they are on the tongue. You should ask your doctor about cold sore treatment options.
A healthy tongue is part of a healthy mouth – something that the staff at Pacific Northwest Smiles specializes in! If you are experiencing any pain in your mouth or if it’s just time for a tooth cleaning, contact the office in Mill Creek, Washington. Call 425-357-6400 today!