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Pain under the tongue: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The mouth and in particular the tongue are in contact with many substances: some harmless, some good and many others quite toxic. It is known that the language is the largest representative of the organism as a whole, since at present it can provide a lot of information about the state of the organism.

A pain under the tongue can be due to local problems such as an infection or inflammation from irritants, but it can also be a sign of organic distress as in celiac disease or lupus. Next, in this FastlyHealarticle, we explain everything about pain under the tongue: causes and treatment .

Mucosal inflammation

The mucosa of the tongue can become inflamed for different reasons, for example:

  • Contact with irritants such as mouthwash or toothpaste.
  • Very acidic foods.
  • Unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking excess alcohol.

These causes generate inflammation of the mucosa of the tongue, consequently, pain under the tongue.


To improve this condition it is important to avoid irritants, that is, the cause that has generated the pain under the tongue. This is often enough to reduce swelling in the mouth and especially under the tongue.

You can also take an infusion of chamomile or calendula , since both are anti-inflammatory .

Viral infection

The most common cause of virus infection in the mouth is herpes .

It is characterized by the appearance of small blisters that, when broken, release a clear liquid and after that there is an ulcer that causes a lot of pain. Tongue sores and canker sores are also common .


Viral infections, such as herpes, sores, and thrush, often get better on their own. To do this, it is essential to take good eating habits and avoid irritants.

If the discomfort is very important, the use of analgesics and antivirals may be necessary .

Tooth problem

If there is insufficient hygiene in the mouth, the gums, the base of the teeth and the teeth themselves can become infected. If the affected teeth are those that are in front and below (lower incisors), it is likely that you will feel discomfort and pain under the tongue.

Another common problem in the area is the use of orthodontics . This can often be the reason for injuries and improper use of the tongue that ends up causing pain.


The most important thing is the cleaning of the teeth in the dental office. This is key to assessing the degree of involvement of them and avoiding complications. In addition, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories will be administered if necessary.

In the case of orthodontics, you can turn to a speech therapy specialist to teach you how to position the tongue and avoid discomfort.

It is essential that you arrive early for the consultation. On the one hand, this will help the teeth to recover and prevent their loss or permanent damage. On the other hand, if the infection progresses it can be complicated by a disease called Ludwig’s Angina.

Ludwig’s angina

If the infection of the teeth or gums progresses, the pain can spread through the mouth. If the infection continues to progress, it can even affect important functions such as breathing.

In addition to pain, other symptoms may appear such as:

  • Fever.
  • Bad general state.
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Babeo.
  • Difficulty swallowing .
  • Cervical pain.
  • Earache.
  • Red and swollen neck.


It is an urgent condition, therefore, it is very likely that upon reaching the medical consultation the person will be admitted.

Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories will be administered, and surgical procedures such as drainage of the infection or a tracheostomy will likely be needed to allow lung ventilation.

Burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome is a chronic condition , in which some symptoms appear such as:

  • Pain or burning in different areas of the mouth (for example, under the mouth).
  • Burning sensation
  • Dry mouth , very intense thirst.
  • Taste disturbances: loss of sensation, bitter or metallic taste.
  • Tingling in the mouth .

This sensation can occur for many different reasons :

  • Nutrient deficiency disorders (B vitamins).
  • Yeast infections (yeast)
  • Dry mouth
  • Gastroesophageal reflux .
  • Bruxism .
  • Diabetes or metabolic diseases.
  • Anxiety or depression.
  • Occur without apparent cause (primary burning mouth syndrome).


It is essential to solve the base cause in order to improve the problem, otherwise the symptoms will only be covered.

Finding a way to take good habits such as eating, quitting irritants such as tobacco or alcohol, taking walks or exercising, seeking tranquility and calm. All this is essential to solve these and any health problems.

There are some drugs that can be given specifically in some cases such as artificial saliva, antidepressants, analgesics or anticonvulsant drugs.

Celiac Disease

Some diseases in which the immune system works improperly can cause lesions in the mouth and pain under the tongue. Such is the case with celiac disease .

The intolerance to gluten causes a number of disorders as variable. The most frequent is the appearance of digestive discomfort with diarrhea, flatulence and weight loss. But there are also other symptoms that can be associated such as respiratory secretions and lesions in the mouth that cause pain under the tongue.

In the oral area, the following may appear:

  • Inflammation.
  • Blisters
  • Ulcers.


Something key to treating celiac disease is suspecting it. Therefore, when faced with conditions that do not respond adequately to what is expected, it is important to study the presence of antibodies against certain components of gluten.

If this intolerance exists, gluten must be eliminated from the diet . It is not enough to suspend baked goods or products that obviously contain wheat, oat, barley and rye flour. Most of the processed and industrialized products contain it. That is why a natural diet is essential to solve this problem (and many others).


This type of immune problem can also manifest itself in a very different way in each person: problems in the skin, in the joints, lungs and, of course, injuries in the mouth.

Acute blisters can appear in the mouth (they last a short time) or chronic (they remain for long periods) that sometimes can cause pain. These can be located anywhere in the mouth, even under the tongue.


Depending on the patient’s condition, different treatments can be tried, such as:

  • Coricosteroides.
  • Analgesics.
  • Antipalúdicos.

Changing dietary habits is key . A healthy and natural diet will promote recovery and greatly improve all the symptoms of this disease. If this is not taken into account, the situation can get even worse over the years.

Learn more about Lupus: types, symptoms, treatment and recommendations .

Muscle disorders

The base of the tongue and the tongue itself are made up of a large number of muscles. When the neck muscles contract, for example from a jaw joint disorder, the tongue becomes hard and painful.

Other symptoms of this type of abnormal muscle contraction are:

  • Pain when opening and closing the mouth.
  • Earache .
  • Itching in the ear.
  • Headache.
  • Feeling tired when waking up


To improve this type of contractures, it is essential to move . Movement and exercise will warm the muscles and can restore normal circulation. Massages are also useful for this .

On the other hand, exercise helps by releasing endorphins, this causes body relaxation and a decrease in tension that causes bruxism at night. Applying heat to the neck and jaw can be very helpful as well.

If the problem becomes chronic, you can go to your trusted dentist or dentist. Sometimes a more specific treatment of the joint may be required such as deprogramming of the muscles in the area or the use of a relaxation plate.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Pain under the tongue: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Teeth and mouth .

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