What is Tongue Ulcer?
Tongue ulcer is a very common condition experienced by most of us. This painful canker sore in the mouth is also known as aphthous ulcers. It is a small round white spot with a red border seen on the lips, cheeks, or under the tongue. This makes eating and talking painful. Canker sores are different from cold sores as it may be seen outside the mouth. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus and it is highly contagious.
Tongue Ulcer Symptoms
If you have canker sore the sore tongue with cold symptoms will have the following:
- A painful sore inside the mouth
- Sore on the tongue or the soft palate
- Sore inside the cheeks
- Burning feel or tingling before the sore becomes noticeable
- Round, white, or grey colour sore in the mouth with a red border.
- Swelling in the lymph nodes
Who is at Risk?
The following aspects will put you at the risk of tongue ulcers. Those who suffer from the following will have a high risk of developing tongue ulcer:
- Family history of mouth ulcer
- Using certain toothpaste and mouth fresheners containing sodium lauryl sulfate
- People who are sensitive to certain citrus fruits, coffee, chocolate, etc
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Hormonal changes especially during menstruation
- Lack of sleep
All these can act as tongue ulcer causes.
Tongue Ulcer Causes
The exact reason for tongue ulcer or canker sore is still unknown. However, the most common cause is physical or mental stress. The others are:
- Tissue injury from sharp teeth or dental braces
- Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Allergic substances present in toothpaste and mouth wash
- Bacterial and viral infection
- Certain foods and vegetables that are acidic
- Weakened immune system
- Underlying health conditions like HIV/ AIDS, Lupus, or Behcet’s disease
- Gastrointestinal diseases like celiac, and Crohn’s disease
- Women are more prone to canker sores than men due to hormonal changes.
How is Tongue Ulcer Diagnosed?
Tongue ulcer or canker sore is not a very serious condition. However, if the pain persists a dentist can be consulted. The doctor will ask for symptoms and family history. Also, a physical examination will be performed to check the following that will help in sore tongue treatment:
- Big sores
- Sores that spread
- Sores that lasts more than 3 weeks
- Severe pain even after medication
- High fever
- Difficulty in drinking fluids
There may be certain blood tests prescribed by the doctor to detect vitamin deficiencies and other underlying health issues that act as the root cause of tongue ulcers and will help in determining the canker sore on tongue treatment.
How is Tongue Ulcer Treated?
In most cases, canker sores will get cured themselves. Tongue ulcer treatment for long-lasting and widespread painful sores will include tongue ulcer medicines like analgesics that will relieve the pain and burning sensation and heal the canker sore. Other options include:
- Nutrition supplements – If the underlying cause is nutrient deficiency, this may help.
- Mouthwashes – The doctor may prescribe a mouthwash containing a pain killer or steroid.
- Cautery – Dental lasers give immediate relief. The doctor will cauterize the sore using chemicals.
There are home remedies for a sore tongue that will help in the speedy recovery and make you feel better Some of them are:
Topical applications like medicated creams, gel, paste, and liquids will help in reducing the pain and sore healing time.
Mouth wash or rinses made out of a mixture of baking soda and salt in warm water can be used to gargle the mouth. This will help to temporarily numb the sore area.
Milk of magnesia can be applied on a cotton swab and used to dab it on the sore as tongue ulcer remedy.
If you want to seek help from a doctor for tongue ulcer cure, you may log on to Cure.fit website to get the most experienced and efficient medical practitioners list. Cure.fit is one of the leading healthcare providers in India currently. You can take a look at the specialists in different medical streams and decide whom to consult. Our suggestion would be to consult a dentist. Once you decide, you may send a Whatsapp message to book an appointment. You can wait for their confirmation call after checking the doctor’s availability. Meantime, get ready with all your previous medical history and other important reports that can help in the diagnosis and treatment. Once you are with Cure.fit, they will ensure your privacy and security at every stage of your treatment.
How can Tongue Ulcers be Prevented?
There is no exact tongue ulcer prevention known so far. But you can reduce the frequency of its relapse if you take care of the following:
- Don’t chew or bite gum, tongue, lips, and cheeks.
- Use a smooth bristled toothbrush and brush after every meal and floss daily to clear any food particles from your mouth that may trigger a sore.
- Avoid fruits and vegetables that might cause sore and spicy foods and coffee.
- Eat a well-balanced nutritious meal and drink plenty of water.
- Manage stress effectively and sleep sufficiently.