Why is my tongue swollen?

Are you experiencing a bizarre sensation in your tongue? Are you struggling to speak or eat without discomfort? Unfortunately, a swollen tongue can result from various factors that could range from minor issues like bacterial infections or allergies to more serious conditions. The good news is that this condition isn’t terminal and can be addressed by the right treatment.

If you’re wondering why your tongue has swelled up, worry no more! In this article, we’ll discuss possible reasons (Hint: There are lots of them!), what symptoms to look out for, tips on how to alleviate swelling, and some awesome infographics.

Anatomy of the Tongue

Before diving into different causes of a swollen tongue (Ooh la la) let’s do a quick review on anatomical features.

The adult human ordinarily has approximately 10 thousand taste buds scattered around the mouth region (dies)—with two-thirds located in papillae bumps at back of roof including fungiform insulae foliate cells on sides. Your tongue primarily consists of muscles covered with soft mucous membranes that are loaded with sensory receptors responsible for taste and touch sensations influencing appetite stimulation across other organs like pancreas liver stomach etcetera (Basically an entire symphony going on).

Causes of A Swollen Tongue

There are several potential triggers behind swelling in the mouth area that might cause abnormalities ranging from mild pain/discomfort during eating/speaking all way up until not being able to breathe!

Allergic Reaction/ Food Sensitivity

This trigger typically results from an allergic reaction caused by food consumed; such reactions usually occur shortly after consuming certain foods/drinks (Womp womp) For instance milk products nuts seafood eggs etcetera could cause hypersensitive responses leaving lips swell throat sore itchy/watery eyes hives chills wheezing tightened airways and in worse cases breathing difficulties (No thank you!)


Trauma to your mouth or tongue can be due to accidental bites, the use of sharp objects on the tongue such as toothbrushes or utensils, prolonged exposure to extremely hot foods/drinks within/outside of meals. It may also arise from asthma inhaler usage that contains steroid medication.

For instance: Ingesting something acidic with a sore spot irritates it causing trauma which leads fluid build up inside tissues eventually leading them puffier than usual – this is why we tend experience most swelling while eating citrusy fruits like oranges lemons etcetera (Bye bye vitamin C for now)

Oral Thrush (Candidiasis)

It occurs when one’s immune system isn’t adept enough in fighting off excess Candida fungus; can result from overuse antibiotics/corticosteroids. Oral thrush typically kicks up yellowish creamy white patches (resembling cottage cheese) throughout surfaces gums cheek inner surfaces many children experience (Most people hit the weight room but not oral hygiene…)

Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones are vital messengers running throughout our body—responsible for regulating several functions, including appetite menstrual cycle blood pressure cholesterol sugar metabolism bone density energy levels mental engagement with life around yourself faster reflexes better color perception ability recognize faces sounds different kinds music produce more dopamine through heightened pleasure centers… The hormone imbalance could stimulate an autoimmune reaction resulting in abnormal inflammations across areas surrounding oral cavity (Chill out hormones!)

Symptoms Accompanied With Swollen Tongue

Symptoms points towards tongue topography abnormalities accompanied lowered quality taste bud mapping involving brain processing signals received thereof alongside making mechanics swallowing/enunciating these words pretty challenging tasks especially if bumped against any teeth ouch!

  • Pain/ Discomfort
  • Numbness
  • Blisters sores bumps inflammation red spikes
  • Pronounced difficulty in eating/swallowing/speaking
  • Change of voice quality

Home Remedies

Irrespective of any potential triggers, here are a few things you could try at home to elevate discomfort/normalize swollen tissue accumulations.

  1. Cold compress the mouth region using an ice cube or something cold to deal with swelling reduction sake reason.
  2. Salt water rinse acts as disinfectant since it prevents bacterial growth in a salty environment—also leaves throat feeling less scratchy especially after experiencing inflammation-induced dryness; for generally good oral hygiene do this prior sleeping every night (Goodnight bacteria!)
  3. Use tongue scraper: Scraping your tongue regularly helps eliminate lingering food particles reducing thickness deposited surfaces thus help keep unwanted colours odours film buildup bay making breathing easier.
  4. Lemon juice/honey gargles: This can reduce sore throat symptoms leading to alleviate pain that comes along with an inflamed mouth & swallowing difficulties + both extracts have antimicrobial properties helping get rid off bacteria much needed by other bodily functions such as bowel digestion and immune fighting responses (Secret power!)

Medical Treatment Options

Treating swollen tissue accumulations is dependent on identified cause-oriented treatment measures for instance antifungal medications against thrush bacterial infections may necessitate antibiotics medications while surgical intervention might be required if blockages found very sensitive areas which again should only traversed after thorough medical examination has been carried out.

These treatments assist tackling not just swelling but underlying sources allowing more long-term solutions solving core continuous issues reducing chances re-occurrence overall improvement in wellbeing!

Prevention Measures

While prevention falls under proactive steps taken preventing setbacks from different possible trigger factors enumerated above some tailored advice would include:

  • Steering-clear allergy-causing foods/allergic items
  • Incorporating daily floss-routine into oral hygiene practices aka don’t skip flossing!
  • Avoid putting objects in your mouth unless necessary and using dentist recommended objects for oral health maintenance
  • Seek medical care early on before worse conditions entrench their tentacles.


Phew! That was quite an article, wasn’t it? Learning the causes of a swollen tongue is just one step to knowing how to handle the inflammation. As we’ve seen, there are various reasons why your tongue could be swollen, beginning from allergies and food sensitivities down to hormonal imbalances (Dang you hormones)

If you’re experiencing any related symptoms (or if we convinced you enough about falling sick) presented each section again just as quick reminder what steps could assist overcoming niggling issues while boosting overall immunity levels. Ensure see a doctor if matters escalate beyond expected timeline so that irregularities can be addressed accordingly.

Remember—healthy cues would always take less time recovering illnesses compared lingering unpredicted torments brought on by our lifestyle decisions or lack thereof – happy recovery journey everyone!