ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have pain at the back of my tongue?

Question

Why do I have pain at the back of my tongue?

The back of my tongue hurts. The area near where my throat starts is very sore and sensitive. is this a result of something wrong with my throat or acid reflux possibly?

Answer

You are correct in suggesting that reflux is definitely within the differential diagnosis for what might be going on to give you these symptoms. Stomach acid and gastric contents can potentially pass from your stomach into your esophagus (if this happens enough, people get "reflux" symptoms). The gastric contents do pass through the esophagus into the pharynx and can even bathe the base of the tongue which can be irritating to all of these areas. One thing that needs to be investigated which is much more serious, is making sure that you do not have a cancer. I don't say that to scare you, however cancers along the base of the tongue usually present with pain as one of the symptoms. Smoking an alcohol abuse are two of the most common risks for oropharyngeal cancers (usually a squamous cell carcinoma), so your physician should ask about both. I would recommend making an appointment with an ENT (Ears Nose Throat) physician to be evaluated. I hope that this is helpful.

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

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.