Tongue Sores And Canker Sores On The Tongue: How To Relieve The Pain
Tongue sores are small, white, benign ulcers or blisters that are usually caused by physical trauma or injury to the tongue. However, viral and bacterial infections can too cause sores on tongue. Tongue sores are generally harmless, though they can cause a little bit of pain and discomfort, while eating or chewing foods. They usually subside on their own and do not require medical treatment. However, if they occur in clusters and are very large in size, then medications can be required for curing them. A sore tongue accompanied by a burning sensation is the most common symptom of tongue sores. You can also observe small cuts on the affected area of the tongue. All these make eating foods, especially hot and spicy foods and those with sharp edges quite difficult and painful.
Tongue Sores Causes
The most common reason for having tongue sores is physical injury caused either by biting ot harsh brushing and burn due to ingestion of hot food. A sore under tongue or on it can be benign canker sore. Tongue canker sores can be caused by several factors including physical trauma, hormonal changes, food allergies, excessive exposure to chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate (a major ingredient in many toothpastes), bacterial infection and nutritional deficiency, especially deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid and iron. Canker sores are usually white in color and their recurrences are also associated with inflammatory bowel disease. More on canker sores on tongue.
Apart from canker sores, cold sores or fever blisters are another type of sores can appear inside the mouth. Usually, the lips and the area around it are found to be more commonly affected by cold sore. Tongue or inside of the cheek can also get affected by cold sores, which are quite different from the canker sores. Cold sores are caused by the virus, herpes labialis , which enters the human body through the mouth and the nose, and then resides on the nerves of the skin. Herpes virus can remain dormant for several months to years, till it get reactivated and cause the appearance of cold sores. The factors that are supposed play an important role in the reactivation of the virus are cold or fever, infection, stress, exposure to sunlight, a weakened immune system and a high level of arginine in the body. Occasionally, sores inside the mouth may be associated with more serious diseases like tuberculosis and syphilis.
Tongue Sores Treatment
Most of the time, tongue sores resolve on their own without requiring the intake of any medication. The pain and discomfort associated with the condition can be relieved with some simple home remedies. Such an effective tongue sores remedy is saline water, which can be used as a mouthwash. If these are canker sores, you can use vinegar as an oral rinse or directly apply a paste of baking soda and sodium bicarbonate on the sores. Clove oil can also help a lot to ease the pain and accelerate the healing process of tongue sores. Similarly, you can use honey, glycerin, tea tree oil and papaya leaves to cure canker sores. If sores on the tongue are fever blisters, then application of ice and herbs like licorice, chamomile, echinacea and lemon balm can provide significant relief.
But, if the sores are quite large or occur in clusters and and cause severe pain, then medications may be required along with home treatment. Generally, corticosteroid preparations are prescribed to ease the pain and inflammation caused by tongue sores. In addition to this, using benadryl as an oral rinse can too help to alleviate the condition. You can also use diluted hydrogen peroxide, which is known for its antiseptic properties. If all these treatment options fail to provide the desired results, your physician may recommend anti-viral medications and corticosteroids like prednisone to cure canker sores on tongue. Anti-viral medications are also prescribed to cure cold sore inside mouth or those appearing on the tongue. More on remedies for cold sores and canker sore remedies.
If tongue sores do not go away, even with adequate care and home treatment, it is better to visit a physician or dentist. This is because, such sores can be associated with medical conditions other than fever blisters and canker sores. At the same time, eat a balanced diet, containing lots of vegetables and fruits and avoid spicy, oily or salty foods. Also refrain from smoking or consuming alcohol and if possible try to avoid toothpastes with a high sodium lauryl sulfate content.