Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
A number of different conditions can result in pain and/or the presence of abnormalities or sores on 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. 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.
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.
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Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Causes of Sore Tongue
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Other Causes of Sore Tongue
- Bacterial Infections
- Dietary Irritants
- Fungal Infections
- Jaw Pain
- Radiation Therapy
- Viral Infections
Examples of Medications for Sore Tongue
- acetaminophen, Tylenol and Others
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
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