Tongue ulcers are cuts and sores on the tongue and can be extremely painful, especially during the consumption of food. They are most commonly canker sores and can go away on their own without treatment. However, sometimes they can be quite serious and may indicate an underlying condition.
Tongue ulcers may be accompanied by a number of other symptoms, which can range from headaches to swollen lymph nodes. Some accompanying symptoms include body aches, lethargy, rashes, fever, and diarrhea.
Causes of Tongue Ulcers
Tongue ulcers are usually caused by trauma or injury to the tongue, such as accidental biting or an infection. In addition to canker sores, this can be caused by other infections such as oral thrush, gingivostomatitis, and oral lichen planus.
Non-infectious causes include burning your tongue, eating too much spicy and acidic food, being stressed, lacking certain vitamins, allergic responses, going through hormonal changes, and having broken teeth. Damage from ill-fitting dentures and braces can also cause irritation, leading to tongue ulcers.
How to Treat Tongue Ulcers
At home treatments for tongue ulcers consist of drinking cool liquids, eating soft food, avoiding spicy and acidic food, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and maintaining good oral hygiene.
Professional help may include dentists prescribing painkillers, corticosteroid lozenges, numbing gels, and more. Additionally, antimicrobial mouthwashes are an excellent way to prevent infection and can speed up healing.
However, sometimes these aren’t enough to treat tongue ulcers, especially if the underlying cause is a serious condition like oral cancer, diabetes, or celiac disease. If tongue ulcers persist for several weeks, it is a good option to see a professional.
At Atlantic Dentistry, Dr. Sebastien Murphy and Dr. Murphy can help you find the underlying cause of your condition or suggest different treatment options. To make an appointment, all you have to do is call 904 717-0335.