Soreness under your tongue can be quite uncomfortable and painful. The discomfort can range from a minor irritation to a severe ache. In this article, we’ll explore the possible causes of soreness under the tongue and some of the ways to alleviate it. Whether it’s due to a minor injury or an underlying health condition, we’ve got you covered.
Understanding the Anatomy of Your Tongue
Your tongue is a complex organ that performs several functions in your mouth such as tasting, chewing, and swallowing. It is made up of several muscles, nerves, and small glands that help in the secretion of saliva. The tongue has two major sections – the anterior and posterior regions.
The Anterior Region
The anterior or front region of the tongue is the part we can easily see when we open our mouths. It is the most mobile part of the tongue and is responsible for taste discrimination, speech, and oral hygiene. It comprises several muscles and papillae, small bumps on the tongue that contain taste receptors.
The Posterior Region
The posterior or back region of the tongue is the part that lies towards the back of the throat. Because it’s harder to see, issues like soreness under the tongue can be difficult to diagnose for this area. This region of the tongue is responsible for the initiation of the swallowing reflex and protection of the airway.
What Causes Soreness Under the Tongue?
Several factors can contribute to soreness under the tongue. Some of these may include:
- Oral Injuries: Injuries to the mouth, gums, or tongue can cause soreness and pain.
- Oral Infections: Infections of the mouth or gums, such as thrush or gingivitis, can cause tongue pain.
- Oral Cancer: Tongue cancer can cause soreness or pain under the tongue.
- Oral Allergies: Certain foods or substances can trigger an allergic reaction that can cause soreness under the tongue.
- Tongue-tied: This is a congenital abnormality where the tongue is held too tightly by a short frenulum, which can cause soreness and stiffness in the tongue.
- Biting Your Tongue: Inadvertently biting your tongue while eating, speaking or sleeping can cause a sore spot.
These are just some of the factors that can contribute to soreness under the tongue. It is best to consult a medical doctor or a dentist if the pain is severe or lasts for more than a week.
How to Treat Soreness Under the Tongue
The treatment for soreness under the tongue depends on the underlying cause. Some remedies that can help ease the pain include:
1. Over-The-Counter Medications
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen can reduce pain and inflammation under the tongue. Topical anesthetics like benzocaine can also provide relief from the pain.
2. Avoiding Certain Foods and Beverages
If the soreness results from oral allergies, avoiding the foods or substances that triggered the reaction and using antihistamine medications can be helpful.
3. Change Your Toothbrush or Mouthwash
If the soreness is due to an allergic reaction to your toothbrush, change to soft bristle ones. Some mouthwashes can cause irritation and soreness under the tongue, and it is best to avoid them.
4. Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing regularly helps to prevent oral infections and inflammations that can cause soreness under the tongue.
Sipping on water frequently can help keep the mouth moistened and prevent dryness that can cause soreness and discomfort.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If the soreness under your tongue worsens or persists even after trying home remedies, it is best to consult a medical doctor or dentist. If you experience other symptoms like difficulty speaking, swallowing, or breathing, seek urgent medical attention.
Soreness under the tongue can be quite uncomfortable, but thankfully there are ways to alleviate the pain. The best course of action is to seek medical advice if the symptoms persist or worsen. By taking care of your oral hygiene and avoiding certain foods and irritants, you can prevent soreness under the tongue.
- Q: What are the common causes of soreness under the tongue?
- A: Some of the common causes of soreness under the tongue include oral injuries, infections, oral cancer, allergies and tongue-tie.
- Q: How can I treat soreness under the tongue?
- A: Treatment for soreness under the tongue depends on the underlying cause. Over-the-counter medications, avoiding certain foods and irritants, hydrating, and maintaining good oral hygiene can help alleviate the pain.
- Q: When should I consult a medical professional?
- A: If the soreness under your tongue worsens or persists even after trying home remedies, it is best to consult a medical doctor or dentist. If you experience other symptoms like difficulty speaking, swallowing, or breathing, seek urgent medical attention.