Sore Tongue Early Symptoms & Signs
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
A number of different conditions can result in pain and/or the presence of abnormalities, bumps, ulcers, or sores on the tongue as well as symptoms like pain, swelling, or burning of the tongue. Problems with the tongue can result from infections, tumors, chronic medical conditions, trauma, or toxins. Inflammation of the tongue is medically known as glossitis. Pain in the tongue is known as glossodynia. Inflammation may occur on the sides of the tongue, the tip of the tongue, on the back of the tongue, or throughout the tongue. Because soreness or painful lesions on the tongue can have a wide variety of causes, treatment and outlook depend upon the particular condition that is responsible. Depending upon the exact cause, other symptoms and conditions can be associated with a sore tongue, including
Inflammation of the tongue can lead to damage of the taste buds, tiny sensors on the surface of the tongue. Some of the more common causes of sore or painful tongue include canker sores, cold sores, bite injuries, and burns.
In some cases, pain that originates in other sources (such as cardiac angina or problems with the teeth and/or jaws) can be experienced in the tongue, even though the tongue itself is normal. This is known as referred pain.
Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.
Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
Causes of Sore Tongue
In This ArticleAngina Article
- What is angina?
- What causes angina?
- What are the different types of angina?
- What are the signs and symptoms of angina?
- How is angina diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for angina?
- Angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery
- What are other methods are used to evaluate angina?
- What is the prognosis for angina?
- Can angina be prevented?
In This ArticleBurning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) Article
- Burning mouth syndrome facts*
- What is burning mouth syndrome?
- What are burning mouth syndrome symptoms and signs?
- How is burning mouth syndrome diagnosed?
- What causes primary and secondary burning mouth syndrome?
- What is the treatment for burning mouth syndrome?
- What are helpful tips for coping with burning mouth syndrome?
In This ArticleBurns (First Aid) Article
- Introduction to burns
- How are burns classified?
- What is the significance of the amount of body area burned?
- How important is the location of a burn?
- What about electrical burns?
- What about chemical burns?
- First aid for burns
In This ArticleGERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn) Article
- GERD (acid reflux) facts
- What is GERD or acid reflux?
- What causes GERD (acid reflux)?
- What are the symptoms of uncomplicated GERD?
- What are the complications of GERD?
- How is GERD or acid reflux diagnosed and evaluated?
- Symptoms and procedures to diagnose GERD
- GERD (acid reflux) tests
- How is GERD (acid reflux) treated?
- Lifestyle changes and GERD (acid reflux) diet
- GERD (acid reflux) medications
- GERD surgery
- What is a reasonable approach to the management of GERD (acid reflux)?
- What are the unresolved issues in GERD (acid reflux)?
In This ArticleIs a Yeast Infection Contagious? Article
- What are yeast?
- Is a yeast infection contagious?
- How do I know if I have a yeast infection?
- How will I know if I am cured of a yeast infection?
- When should I seek medical care for yeast infection?
In This ArticleLeukoplakia Article
- What causes Leukoplakia?
- What are the symptoms?
- How is Leukoplakia diagnosed?
- How is Leukoplakia treated?
In This ArticleLichen Planus Article
- Lichen planus facts
- What is lichen planus?
- What causes lichen planus?
- How is the rash of lichen planus different from that of most other common rashes?
- What are lichen planus symptoms and signs?
- What does lichen planus look like?
- How is lichen planus diagnosed?
- Are there home remedies for lichen planus?
- What is the treatment for lichen planus?
- What is the long-term prognosis of lichen planus?
In This ArticleOral Cancer Article
- Oral cancer facts*
- What is the oral cavity?
- What is cancer?
- Who's at risk for oral cancer?
- What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
- How is oral cancer diagnosed?
- How is oral cancer treated?
- Methods of treatment
- What are the side effects of treatment for oral cancer?
- What is rehabilitation for oral cancer?
- What happens after treatment for oral cancer?
- What does the future hold for patients with oral cancer?
- What resources are available to patients with oral cancer?
In This ArticleSmoking (How to Quit Smoking) Article
- Smoking and quitting smoking facts
- What problems are caused by smoking?
- What are the symptoms and signs of cigarette addiction?
- What are the steps in quitting?
- Getting ready to quit smoking
- On the day you quit smoking
- Staying quit
- What methods can help a person quit smoking?
- Nicotine replacement therapy to quit smoking
- Nicotine patches
- Nicorette gum
- Nicotine lozenges
- What prescription products are available for smoking cessation?
- How can nicotine-containing products be used safely?
- What are e-cigarettes?
- Is an e-cigarette harmful?
- Is secondhand smoke from e-cigarettes harmful?
- What is in the future for smoking?
In This ArticleTeeth Grinding (Bruxism) Article
- What causes people to grind their teeth?
- What are bruxism symptoms and signs?
- Why is teeth grinding harmful?
- What is the treatment for bruxism?
- Do children grind their teeth?
In This ArticleToothache Article
- What is a toothache?
- What causes a toothache?
- What are toothache symptoms and signs?
- How is a toothache diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a toothache?
- Are home remedies effective for a toothache?
- How is a toothache treated during pregnancy?
- What is the prognosis for a toothache?
- Is it possible to prevent a toothache?
Other Causes of Sore Tongue
- Bacterial Infections
- Dietary Irritants
- Fungal Infections
- Jaw Pain
- Viral Infections
Examples of Medications for Sore Tongue
- acetaminophen, Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
WebMD Oral Health
Get tips for a healthy mouth.