A sore on your tongue usually is a minor issue that’s the result of a nick from a tooth, a burn, or irritation from certain foods. Unfortunately, a sore can be painful, affect your ability to eat, and even indicate a serious health condition. It helps to know what type of sore you have and when you should visit your dentist to examine it.
Canker Sores & Cold Sores
A spot on your tongue could be a mouth ulcer, which also is known as a canker sore. These sores might appear if you bite or burn your tongue, eat spicy or acidic foods, or have a weakened immune system. Stress can exacerbate canker sores, but you also might be genetically predisposed to getting them. If you lack vitamin B12, folate, zinc, or iron in your diet, you could be more likely to develop this issue.
An inflamed spot on your tongue also could be a cold sore. This condition resembles a blister and is caused by a viral infection. Cold sores can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes, and even a sunburn.
When to See a Dentist About a Tongue Sore
Most tongue sores disappear on their own within two weeks. In the meantime, eating popsicles, rinsing your mouth with salt water, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and applying a topical medication could reduce symptoms. But if your condition is not a canker sore or cold sore, it could be severe.
For example, if you notice white patches on your tongue or the inside of a cheek, you might have an inflammatory skin condition that requires medical treatment. You also should consult a dentist if you find a lump or lesion on your tongue, since it could be a sign of oral cancer. If you’re also running a fever or having difficulty swallowing, see a medical professional as soon as possible.
If you’re worried about a sore on your tongue, call Dental Clinic of Onalaska at (608) 783-3341 to schedule an emergency appointment with a dentist. The clinic’s staff is committed to providing the best dental care in Wisconsin and will identify the problem and best treatment. They also offer a variety of general and cosmetic dentistry services, including teeth whitening and dental implants. Visit their website for information about their offerings and check their Facebook page for more oral health advice and news from their office.