ZocdocAnswersWhat can cause someone's tongue to feel sore?

Question

What can cause someone's tongue to feel sore?

My entire tongue has been sore for about 5 days. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with me other than that, I'm not sick or anything. Why would just my tongue be in pain?

Answer

The tongue is muscle. Therefore, just like any muscle in the body, it can become fatigued or strained, usually from vigorous chewing. The tongue can also become irritated, usually from spicy or citrus foods. Similarly, accidental trauma to the tongue, for example from biting it while chewing is very common. Most of the time, one of these possibilities is all that is going on when you have tongue soreness, and it improves over time. However, if the symptoms are getting worse or not improving, you should see your primary care doctor for further evaluation. If you notice any sore areas on your tongue, these might be canker sores or infections causes by the herpes virus or another viral infection. Sometimes medications are required to help these sores clear up. Rarely, the tongue may become generally inflamed. This is a condition called glossitis, and it is typically caused by a nutritional problem, such as an iron deficiency or a B vitamin deficiency, as well as some serious underlying medical disorders. If the symptoms persist, call your primary care doctor's office and set up a visit to be evaluated. Your doctor can help you decide if there is anything serious going on.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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