Tongue ulcers

Tongue Ulcers – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Tongue ulcers are one of the most painful type of mouth ulcers. They are pale white or yellow in color. A red color inflamed border may surround the severe ones. However, tongue ulcers may appear in the form of cuts besides the normal pale white or yellow blisters. They can be equally agonizing similar to the ones that erupt on the mucosal area inside the mouth.
Minor Aphthous tongue ulcers generally subside within a week or two. The major ones may take more time to heal. They are usually painful and the burning sensation may hamper normal eating and drinking habits.
Common symptoms of tongue ulcers are:
• Pain in tongue
• Burning sensation
• Cuts on tongue
• Changed physical appearance of the tongue
• Excessive salivation
• Small blisters that may bleed
• Irritation & Itching
• Bad breath from the mouth
• Protuberances or bud growth on the tongue
• Discomfort while drinking, swallowing and eating
• Inflamed tongue
• Sore throat and difficulty in speaking
Number of causes could be behind the development of tongue ulcers. Akin to canker sores, tongue ulcers also have numerous causes. Infections and improper oral hygiene are common factors that contribute to tongue sores. Other reasons could be:
• Sudden biting of the tongue
• Excessive smoking
• Viral infection like: Herpes simplex virus, Oral lichen planus, Candida fungus and Gingivostomatitis
• Weak immunity
• Stress – Stress is one of the major reason of tongue ulcers
• Nutritional deficiency
• Medicinal reactions
• Food allergies
• Thermal burning of tongue caused due to intake of spicy or hot foods and beverages
• Heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages
• Tongue ulcers can be caused by fatigue and prolonged lack of sleep
• Trauma caused by aggressive cleaning of tongue
• Stomach ulcers may eventually lead to tongue ulcers
• Certain toothpastes and mouthwashes that include acidic compounds like alcohol
Apart from the above causes of tongue ulcers, particular serious medical condition like Leukoplakia, a disease that causes persistent irritation in the tongue may be a source of tongue lesion. Cancerous ulcers or any other prolonged illness can also cause tongue ulcers.
Another important aspect that could be a reason for development of these Aphthous sores or tongue ulcers is major imbalance of hormones in the body(specially in pregnancy). Hormones is a chemical released by different glands or cells in the body that helps in transferring messages to various other cells, tissues and organs through the bloodstream. Imbalance in hormones may root from one or more hormones being produced more or less than the desired amount. This imbalance could be a consequence of some underlying medical condition or hormonal changes that occur in women during menstrual cycle or menopause may eventually develop into tongue ulcers.
Once the cause of tongue ulcers is determined, symptomatic mouth ulcers treatment should be taken. Minor tongue ulcers do not require special medical attention, as they may not be too troublesome and disappear in two weeks time. Whereas major tongue ulcers that are agonizing and inflamed may need a general practitioners advise.
Various home remedies like cleansing the mouth with homemade mouthwash of salt and warm water helps keep away secondary infections when suffering from tongue ulcers in the mouth. Applying glycerin on the affected area twice or thrice a day helps heal the sore faster. Medicinal supplements like vitamin B12 or B6 pills and zinc and folic acid lozenges aid in curing tongue ulcers. Avoiding toothpaste and mouthwash that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, this may reduce the recurrence of tongue lesion.
A compound Debacterol used by dentist to seal injured mucosal tissues is also helpful in healing the tongue ulcers. Severe tongue ulcers may be treated with the help of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory lozenges. Apart from medication and home remedies, it is necessary to decipher the underlying cause of the tongue ulcers and treat it accordingly.