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, 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.
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Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
Causes of Sore Tongue
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In This ArticleCanker Sores Article
- Canker sores facts
- What are canker sores?
- What are symptoms and signs of canker sores?
- What are the causes of canker sores?
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- What is the treatment for canker sores?
- What kind of topical medications (gels or ointments) are available for canker sores?
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- Symptoms and procedures to diagnose GERD
- GERD (acid reflux) tests
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- Lifestyle changes and GERD (acid reflux) diet
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In This ArticleToothache Article
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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)
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