Tongue problems


Here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we notice many different tongue problems amongst our patients. There are a number of ways your tongue can be sore and various causes to why this is happening. Some of the problems that may occur with your tongue include:


  • Pain on one spot or all over the tongue
  • A burning sensation all over the tongue or in certain spots
  • Sores on the tongue such as blisters
  • Tongue swelling
  • Painful white or red patches on the tongue
  • Difficulty moving your tongue
  • Partial change or complete loss of taste
  • Change in colour of the whole tongue or patches of it
  • Change in texture i.e. Lumps or furry feeling


Most of these are not serious and will usually go by themselves. However, these signs can sometimes be symptoms of an underlying health condition which may need to be seen by a dentist or doctor for appropriate treatment. Noting any of the above symptoms will help to diagnose a possible condition. Most tongue problems can be prevented by good oral hygiene or simple treatments which can be done at home.


There is usually a cause for any sort of tongue pain whether it be minor or more serious. Causes of a burning sensation on the tongue can be from irritation of smoking or from menopause in women. The colour of the tongue might change to bright pink if a person is deficient in iron, folic acid, B-12 or has an allergy or intolerance to gluten. The tongue may appear white due to smoking alcohol or inadequate oral hygiene. If there are white lines or patches it could be a result of lichen planus. If there is a furry texture over the tongue it is usually caused by antibiotics or irritants such as smoking or mouthwash. If the tongue is painful it usually means there is some sort of injury or infection. You may bite or burn your tongue without realising and a painful sore can develop. The papillae or taste buds can become inflamed and sore after a bite or burn also. If there is pain under the tongue it is most likely a mouth ulcer which can appear for no reason. Less common causes for tongue problems include cancer, anaemia, oral herpes or braces.


In a case where a tongue begins to swell suddenly and very fast it is usually due to an allergic reaction. This swelling can block the airway and make it difficult for the person to breathe. If this occurs it is an emergency and it is extremely important to get to a hospital for medical help as soon as possible.


If you have a tongue problem that is not going away, we recommend that you book an appointment here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic in Bayside Medical Centre to have your tongue examined and to find a diagnosis and possible treatment.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my tongue sore?

There are a number of reasons why your mouth may be sore but the most common causes are and injury such as a bite or a burn. It can also be sore because of grinding your teeth at night and catching the sides of the tongue or from swollen papillae (taste buds). If you have other symptoms that are not going away after a few days it is important to get your tongue examined to diagnose any other possible causes of the pain.

What illness causes a sore tongue?

It depends on the symptoms of the tongue but some medical conditions which cause a sore tongue are diabetes and anaemia. Most symptoms are nothing to worry about but if you feel they are not going away, get an examination done by a dentist or doctor to rule out any other condition that may be causing the sore tongue.

How do you heal a sore tongue fast?

  • Avoid irritating or spicy foods.
  • Drink cold water or beverages and eat soft food until the pain has subsided.
  • You can try oral pain treatments.
  • You can use alcohol free mouthwash or salt water to help with any infections.
  • Ice your tongue
  • Good oral hygiene and brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day.
  • Get it checked by a dentist or doctor if there are no improvements in 2 or 3 weeks.

Get in touch now!


Smilehub provides excellence in dental care book online for an appointment today

Dental Treatments

Contact Us

    I consent to my personal data being collected and being stored as per the privacy policy.

    01 5253888

    Mon – Sun : 7.30am-10pm

    Open 7 Days a week Open 365 Days a Year Open on Weekends

    Smile Hub Dental Clinic, Bayside Medical Centre, Bayside Shopping Centre, Sutton, Dublin 13