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Causes of a Sore Tongue

Accidentally biting your tongue can make it sore, however tongue pain can also be an indication of a serious medical condition, such as oral cancer. Seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis if you have tongue pain with an unknown cause, or you develop bumps or other lesions on your tongue or in your mouth.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Glossitis

Viral or bacterial infections such as oral herpes simplex can lead to glossitis. Other causes may include a yeast infection, trauma, burns, a dry mouth and exposure to tobacco, spices or hot foods.cause:

  • Other causes may include a yeast infection
  • trauma
  • burns
  • a dry mouth
  • exposure to tobacco
  • spices or hot foods

Medical problems such as iron deficiency anemia or apthous ulcers can also lead to glossitis.

Oral Cancer

Exercising Hurts My Tongue

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Oral cancer refers to a cancer that affects the mouth. Oral cancer symptoms include lesions, ulcers or lumps on the lip, tongue or mouth. These regions may be sore and they may form a deep crack within the tissue. Other oral cancer symptoms include difficulty swallowing, mouth sores, tongue problems and a strange taste in the mouth.

Tobacco and smoking causes the majority of oral cancers. Alcohol consumption, poor dental hygiene and the human papilloma virus can all lead to oral cancer. Treatment for oral cancer involves chemotherapy and radiation to eliminate the oral cancer cells or surgery to remove the cancerous tumor.

  • Oral cancer refers to a cancer that affects the mouth.
  • Other oral cancer symptoms include difficulty swallowing, mouth sores, tongue problems and a strange taste in the mouth.

Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is an inflammatory skin condition that typically affects the arms or legs. Sometimes, this condition can also affect the genitals and mouth. Lichen planus symptoms can include mouth sores, a sore tongue, tenderness or itching of the mouth and shiny red patches on the cheeks or tongue. Other symptoms of lichen planus include skin bumps that can appear purple, pink or red in color and hair loss. Unfortunately, the cause of lichen planus is unclear. However, it may be linked to an allergic reaction to a medication or an infection such as hepatitis C. Treatment for lichen planus involves taking such medications as antihistamines, corticosteroids. Also, phototherapy (a type of light therapy) can also be beneficial.

Other Causes

Little Pimple-Like Bumps on the Inside of the Mouth

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Tongue pain can be caused by nerve damage. Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition caused by disruption of the trigeminal nerve, which supplies sensation to the face and mouth 4. Pain typically increases with speaking, chewing or touching the face. Nerve damage can also be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes. Heart attack -- a life-threatening situation -- may also cause pain in the jaw and tongue.

  • Tongue pain can be caused by nerve damage.
  • Heart attack -- a life-threatening situation -- may also cause pain in the jaw and tongue.
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