announcement

Help someone with useful health advice.

Causes of Tongue Ulcers

Causes of Tongue Ulcers

A tongue ulcer is among the most common tongue problems and needs to be effectively treated to avoid further complications. The Buzzle article below highlights some causes of tongue ulcers.
Reshma Jirage
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Fast Fact:
Unhygienic habits are one of the primary causes of tongue ulcers. To prevent them, brush and floss your teeth regularly.
The tongue is one of the important sensory organs and is composed of muscles. The upper surface of the tongue is covered with papillae and taste buds. There are various reasons that cause some changes in the appearance and function of the tongue. Tongue ulcers are also known as aphthous ulcer. They are characterized by white-colored patches or lesions on the tongue. These are generally painless. But, when the ulcers grow and turn into a blood red color, then they may bleed and cause damage to the tongue. Ulcers can cause a burning sensation in particular areas of the tongue. You may experience soreness and irritation while eating or talking. The paragraphs below highlight some causes of tongue ulcers.
Causes of Ulcers on the Tongue
Tongue ulcers are mostly caused by unhealthy eating and drinking habits. However, there are other medical conditions, whose presence may result in these ulcers.
Canker Sores
  • Canker sores are, in fact, tongue ulcers, and they occur on the underside of the lip, under the tongue, near the throat - in fact, anywhere inside the mouth.
  • Such sores may be formed due to injury to the mouth - perhaps the bristles of the toothbrush hurt the sensitive parts of your mouth, or you bit your tongue, or your dentures hurt your tongue, etc.
  • Usually, these sores heal on their own. If and when they don't, they start bleeding and burning and lead to tongue ulcers.
Mouth Cancer
  • The term, 'mouth cancer' is rather generic, that is to say, there are more than 10 types of oral cancer.
  • This condition is indicated by tongue ulcers, i.e., rather than stating that oral cancer is a cause of tongue ulcers, it would be prudent to state that these ulcers are a symptom of oral cancer.
  • This condition is caused due to tongue cancer, throat cancer, tonsil cancer, etc.
  • This is the reason why you need to rush to the nearest medical care facility if your ulcers persist.
Herpes
  • Herpes is one of the most common causes of tongue ulcers.
  • It is basically caused due to the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and is a viral infection.
  • In this disease, the infected person is gets blisters inside and outside the mouth.
  • These blisters occur in groups and are also called cold sores or fever blisters.
  • Herpes may also lead to a sore throat. If left untreated, these sores lead to severe tongue ulcers.
Gingivostomatitis
  • It is a kind of viral/bacterial mouth infection.
  • This condition generally occurs due to poor maintenance of the mouth.
  • If you have been infected with the herpes simplex virus, you are likely to get infected with gingivostomatitis as well.
  • This condition is quite common in children and causes bad breath, fatigue, and gum sores.
  • If ignored, it leads to excessive burning and causes tongue ulcers.
Unhygienic Habits
  • A majority of tongue ulcers may stem from an unhealthy lifestyle, as mentioned before.
  • One of these habits is the improper way of brushing and cleaning the mouth.
  • Certain type of toothpaste and mouthwash contain corrosive substances such as alcohol. This is a likely cause for ulcers.
  • Eating excessively spicy and hot foods results in mouth sores.
  • You may be surprised, but irregular eating and sleeping habits lead to this kind of infection as well.
  • Excess consumption of tea or coffee is also one of the likely reasons.
  • Drinking and smoking are some of the primary reasons for tongue ulcers.
Others
  • Tongue ulcers may be caused due to other medical conditions as well.
  • Constipation may result in a low immunity that leads to tongue ulcers.
  • Tuberculosis may be a cause for these ulcers as well.
  • One of the most common causes include stress. Research has sufficient evidence to demonstrate that stress and anxiety lead to a lowering of the body's immune system, which leads to tongue sores.
  • Side-effects of certain medication may lead to these ulcers too.
Sometimes, you may be inflicted with a viral ulcer. It appears on the tongue for apparently no reason. These ulcers are considered to be associated with fatigue or stress.
No health condition should be left untreated. If you experience a burning sensation or any discomfort on your tongue, you need to consult a health care professional immediately.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.