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The tongue is one of the most important organs in the mouth that helps us taste, swallow, and speak. Sores can also be found directly on top which may be present in cases of vitamin deficiencies which changes the texture and color of the anterior portion of the tongue.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity causes extensive vascular and lymphatic spread of mouth sores. Smoking, chewing tobacco and alcohol intake disrupts the moisture and irritates the mucosal lining of the tongue leading to glossitis. Bacterial growth such as streptococcus bacteria also causes scarlet fever that leaves the tongue sore and strawberry-red in color. Excessive use or abuse of antibiotics destroys the normal flora in the mouth that protects it from infection. Administration of ganglion blockers and bronchodilators has also been a reason for glossitis. Brushing with toothbrush with hard bristles may also lead to irritation and inflammation of the tongue.
Irritation from the adjacent teeth and dental appliances also leads to inflammation of the tongue area. Sensitivity to certain foods and drugs lead to allergic reactions in the oral cavity that causes sore tongue. Complete eradication of sore tongue is primarily focused on the treatment of the causative factor. Administration of analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications is needed to reduce the pain and inflammation in the area.


Anesthetics may be prescribed to control the pain in cases of very painful ulcers and sores. Glossitis caused by infections need to be treated with medications to kill the microorganisms. The administration of B vitamins helps in the prevention of tongue sores as a result of Vitamin B deficiency.
This website is for informational purposes only and Is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Several factors such as viral infection, trauma, inflammation, and malignancy cause the tongue to be sore, which greatly affects the way we eat and speak. Soreness on the dorsal portion of the tongue may be caused by migratory glossitis or geographic tongue. Fungal infection also thrives on top of the tongue which leaves a whitish discoloration signifying the growth of the fungi. These are open tongue lesions or sores that appear whitish in color that may feel like a burning sensation in the mouth. Candida albicans fungi cause oral thrush that leaves a whitish discoloration of the tongue. It is transmitted through direct contact with the person’s saliva or fluid such as kissing and licking. Aside from this, scraping too hard on the surface of the tongue also damages the mucosal lining. Megaloblastic anemia, caused by folic acid deficiency and pernicious anemia caused by Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to a smooth, beefy tongue.


Allergic reactions may also happen in certain toothpastes, mouthwash, and dental appliances such as retainers. Oral antibiotics as well as antiseptic washes may be used to reduce the duration of ulcers.
B vitamins are also essential in treating recurrent ulcers and sores not caused by vitamin B deficiency. Avoid alcoholic mouthwashes because it further leads to drying and irritation of the mouth. In addition, the mouth is inhabited by millions of microorganisms and any reduction in immunity may lead to tongue infection. Once destroyed, other opportunistic infections from fungi, bacteria and virus may set in causing tongue sores.
In addition, iron deficiency anemia also causes sore mouth and tongue and turns the color into yellow as a result of decreased hemoglobin.
A lot of factors cause the appearance of canker sores including diet, infection, nutritional state and trauma.



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