There are several causes of a sore tongue and often sufferers can use their own discretion to eliminate certain things before heading to the physician. The range of problems can include caffeine allergy, poorly fitting dentures, Candida albican fungus, tongue biting and withdrawal from nicotine, along with more serious issues. The tiny papillae on the tongue move food inside the mouth, but they are sensitive, sometimes to the point of adverse reaction. Check some of these causes to see if they match your symptoms.
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Symptoms of caffeine allergy include tingling mouth and lips and a swelling tongue within minutes, or sometimes hours, after drinking beverages such as coffee and colas that contain high levels of caffeine. Recommendations are to eliminate these and other drinks that contain caffeine. If the symptoms continue, look for other allergens and eliminate them before adding back foods or beverages.
Candida albican fungus, commonly called thrush, is a yeast infection that shows up in the mouth as a white tongue coating that also causes discomfort. It can be treated successfully with micostatin, but the key is to eliminate certain foods from the diet, such as yeast, sugar, citrus, beer and wine, cheeses, fruit juices, cider, bread products made from yeast, mushrooms, tea and coffee. Consider eating plenty of raw garlic, using oregano capsules and taking a B-complex vitamin to help the immune system naturally overcome the fungus.
Poorly Fitting Dentures and Plaque
Many people with dentures "tongue" their teeth and irritate the papillae on their tongues. Broken edges on teeth are especially rasping to the tongue. Plaque on the back of the teeth is also a culprit. Avoid rubbing your tongue against your teeth. Dentists can provide a mouth guard that is soft and will help alleviate the problem of sore tongue caused by teeth or dental appliances.
Effects of Nicotene Withdrawal on the Tongue
When a heavy smoker ceases the habit, the mouth, tongue and throat react. They start to burn because the effects of ridding the body of these toxins uses up vitamin B, iron and folic acid, and the system goes through painful withdrawal. Doctors will generally prescribe replacement vitamins and minerals first to alleviate the pain. As painful as withdrawal may be, it is temporary and is far less injurious than continuing to smoke.
Inspect the tongue for swollen papillae with white rings around it. Numb the pain temporarily by dabbing on Ora-gel or taking Lysine-L tablets purchased from a health store. Gargle with Listerine to rinse away irritating bacteria. The symptoms will persist for a week or two until all the toxins are out of your body.
The tongue fights off bacteria and allergens by swelling to shut off their invasion. Many people take aspirin to alleviate both swelling and subsequent pain. This can exacerbate the problem because the aspirin may react with other medications, such as ACE inhibitors used to control high blood pressure. This also applies to Ibuprophen (Advil and Motrin) and Naprosyn (Aleve) in combination with ACE inhibitors. This usually happens in the first year of taking these combinations, but can also occur years later.
If the lateral border of the tongue is painful, it is worth a visit to the doctor. The most common tongue cancer is squamous cell cancer. The tongue looks ulcerated and greyish pink. Early intervention will allow the doctor to remove the squamous cells before they affect speech and appearance. Smoking and drinking are considered contributors to this type of tongue cancer.
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