Tongue discomfort, which includes pain and burning sensations, often can result from
Irritation from certain foods, especially acidic ones (for example, pineapple)
Irritation from certain ingredients in toothpaste, mouthwash, candy, or gum
Thrush Noncancerous mouth growths Growths can originate in any type of tissue in and around the mouth, including connective tissues, bone, muscle, and nerve. Growths most commonly form on the Lips Sides of the tongue Floor of... read more (candidiasis Candidiasis (Yeast Infection) Candidiasis is infection with the yeast Candida. Candidiasis tends to occur in moist areas of the skin. Candidiasis may cause rashes, scaling, itching, and swelling. Doctors examine the affected... read more ), a common infection in which an overgrowth of fungi forms a white film on the tongue
Tongue injury Tongue Injury Tongue injury is the most common cause of tongue discomfort. The tongue has many nerve endings for pain and touch and is more sensitive than other parts of the body. The tongue is frequently... read more or tongue sores Tongue Sores and Bumps Sores (blisters and ulcers) on the tongue can be caused by Irritation from certain foods or chemicals Oral herpes simplex virus infection Canker sores (recurrent aphthous stomatitis) Tuberculosis read more
Intense pain of the tongue or the entire mouth can be caused by burning mouth syndrome Burning Mouth Syndrome Burning mouth syndrome is mouth pain, usually involving the tongue, in people who do not have any visible sores or abnormalities in their mouth. Burning mouth syndrome probably represents a... read more .
Often it is a process of elimination to find out just what is causing the discomfort. Tongue discomfort not caused by an infection is usually treated by eliminating the cause. For example, the person may try changing brands of toothpaste (particularly to a brand that does not contain the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate [SLS]), stop eating irritating/acidic/spicy foods, or have a sharp or broken tooth repaired by a dentist. Warm salt-water rinses may help. Thrush can be treated with an antifungal drug, such as nystatin or fluconazole.