Tongue Problems (cont.)

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Pain

Pain with the tongue can be associated with anemia, canker sores (aphthous ulcers), oral herpes, neuralgia, cancer, poorly fitting dentures, or irritation from dental work.

Canker sores are commonly found on the tongue and can be very painful. They appear as a yellow-white center with a red halo. These ulcerations are thought to be caused by local injury, stress, or genetic predisposition; however, no definitive cause has been found. No treatment is usually necessary as these ulcerations generally resolve in less than two weeks.

Oral herpes is caused by the herpes virus and appears as fluid-filled lesions. These lesions usually resolve in two weeks' time, but oral herpes can also be treated with antiviral medications to shorten the duration of symptoms.

"Burning mouth syndrome" is a phenomenon that often includes the tongue (often called "burning tongue"). It has been associated with other conditions that include menopause, anxiety, depression, acid reflux, nutritional deficiencies, and mouth conditions such as dry mouth or oral thrush. Treatment is usually for the underlying condition (for example antifungals for oral thrush, supplement for nutrition deficiencies, or medications to treat anxiety or depression).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/21/2014

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