Ulcer On Tongue
How to Treat Ulcers on the Tongue
Ulcers on the tongue, otherwise known as “tongue sores,” can make everyday tasks, such as eating and talking, painful and annoying. Ulcers are extremely common ailments that can occur on the tongue, cheeks, and other parts of the mouth. They can be brought on by a number of things but, unfortunately, can prove to be rather long-lived if they are not cared for and treated properly. If you find yourself nursing a sore on your tongue, then you may be dealing with an ulcer.
What is an Ulcer?
An ulcer on the tongue, or anywhere in the mouth for that matter, is an open sore that is shaped a bit like a crater. This type of sore forms in the shape of a circle and if you can manage to catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, you will notice that the outer ring of skin is white in color with the centermost skin being bright red. The center of the sore will be open and exposed to anything that your tongue may come across, such as bacteria, food particles, liquid, and toothpaste. Ulcers on the tongue can prove to be particularly difficult to treat because of how often the tongue is used. The frequent flexing motion allows for plenty of opportunities for the sore to brush against one’s teeth, cheeks, or even rough particles of food which can cause the healing ulcer to re-open, which delays the healing process.
Ulcers are not transferrable from person to person. It is a common misunderstanding that ulcers are caused by viruses that can be spread by kissing or touching a person that has such a sore. This actually describes cold sores, which are caused by the hepatitis virus. Cold sores are most definitely contagious before and during an outbreak; however they are completely different from ulcers. Most cold sores will occur on the outside of the mouth or on the lips, whereas ulcers can occur anywhere inside the mouth.
Causes of Ulcers on the Tongue
If you’re very familiar with ulcers on the tongue, then you may be wondering what causes them to pop up. The truth is that there isn’t just one specific cause behind the formation of ulcers. The ulcer in your mouth could be caused by something as broad as stress to something a little easier to pin-point, such as cutting your tongue on a potato chip. Ulcers can also form as the side effect of an illness or infection—specifically oral thrush. Oral thrush, which is a yeast infection, is well known for causing ulcers in addition to thickening and whitening the surfaces of the mouth.
Allergies to foods, the use of certain kinds of medication, overindulgence of citrus fruits or citrus fruit juices, and deficiencies in iron, zinc, and any of the B vitamins are also known causes of ulcers on the tongue. Even dropping pounds too quickly, biting your tongue, and failing to get enough sleep can contribute to the formation of tongue ulcers.
Symptoms of Ulcers
Going off of the description made earlier, you already know what ulcers look like, but what if the ulcer is in a spot on your tongue which you aren’t able to see clearly in the mirror? In this case, you may have to go off of the other symptoms that can pop up as a result of an ulcer. Unless the ulcer is caused by an actual wound on your tongue such as an abrasion or cut, then you will probably notice a bit of swelling and discomfort first. As the ulcer becomes fully formed and the center is exposed and raw to the elements inside your mouth, you will notice that the pain will become quite noticeable, even comparable to burning or stinging sensations. Your tongue may continue to swell around the site of the sore and you might find it difficult to use your tongue to speak, swallow, chew food, and drink beverages. It is also not uncommon to see blood in your spit while brushing or rinsing with mouth wash.
Ulcers on the tongue will eventually go away in their own time, but unfortunately their well-used location makes it difficult to prevent them from re-opening or incurring further damage due to abrasions. There are over-the-counter medications that can be used and can prove to show significant improvement in the healing process. These medications work by acting as a protective cover on the raw portion of the sore. If applied regularly, the medication will prevent bacteria, food, and other irritants from getting inside the sore and slowing down the healing process.
Of course, you don’t have to use medication to heal your ulcer. With careful use of your tongue and a very selective diet, you can prevent a lot of irritation and discomfort when it comes to your sore. Try to choose foods that are very soft and that can be swallowed with minimal chewing. Broth, soup, yogurt, and bananas are great options.
If you believe that your ulcer may be the result of a vitamin deficiency or other underlying illness then the best way to treat and prevent ulcer outbreaks would be to address the causative illness.