Sore Tongue
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Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Dr Nanes received a doctorate from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and went on to complete a residency in emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. There he trained at Froedtert Hospital and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in the practice of adult and pediatric emergency medicine. He was a chief resident and received numerous awards for teaching excellence during his time there. | | After residency he took a job at a community hospital where he and his colleagues worked through the toughest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. |

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

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  • Tongue has a soreness

  • Tongue is painful

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About the Symptom

Tongue pain could be a result of injury, inflammation, sores or hot foods/ liquids.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Numbness / sensory disorder

  • Fever

  • Unexplained weight loss of 5% or more in 1 month

  • Peripheral cyanosis

  • Facial edema

Possible causes

Generally, Sore tongue can be related to:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Also known as ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, or motor neuron disease, this progressive, degenerative condition affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It results in loss of muscle control, eventually leading to difficulty eating, breathing, and speaking. The exact cause remains unknown and may be due to genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

    Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is a lack of vitamin B12 that leads to insufficient healthy red blood cells. Vitamin B12 is necessary for producing red blood cells, which transport oxygen in the body. It can result from inadequate B12 in the diet or an inability to absorb B12 in the small intestine, also known as pernicious anemia.

  • Pellagra

    Pellagra is a systemic disease caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin B3 (Niacin). A mild deficiency might go unnoticed, but a chronically low or Niacin-free diet can result in symptoms. The primary symptoms include diarrhea, skin inflammation, inflammation of the mucous linings (inside the mouth), mental confusion, and weakness. If untreated, it can lead to death.

  • Herpes simplex
  • Sarcoidosis (including erythema nodosum-like eruption)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Anemia
  • Hypothyroidism

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Sore tongue may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Cerebral infarction

    Cerebral infarction refers to damage to brain tissue resulting from a stroke. It occurs due to decreased blood supply and oxygen delivery to the brain, causing brain cell death and brain damage. It is typically caused by a blood clot or fatty/cholesterol plaques blocking a blood vessel to the brain, but can also occur if a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.

  • Tuberculosis (TB) (including scrofuloderma)

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Is your tongue hurting?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Dr Nanes received a doctorate from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and went on to complete a residency in emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. There he trained at Froedtert Hospital and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in the practice of adult and pediatric emergency medicine. He was a chief resident and received numerous awards for teaching excellence during his time there. | | After residency he took a job at a community hospital where he and his colleagues worked through the toughest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. |

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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