Glossitis or Sore Tongue

Mouth | Odontologie | Glossitis or Sore Tongue (Symptom)


The tongue helps us to hold and direct the food and drink we swallow, while the taste buds contribute to the experience of food flavour. A sore tongue is any pain or discomfort of all or a part of the tongue. Pain is a sensation triggered by the nervous system in response to tissue inflammation or damage. A sore tongue will feel like a dull, stabbing, shooting, burning, or pins-and-needles sensation.


The tongue is composed mainly of muscle. A sore or painful tongue can result from infection, inflammation, trauma, malignancy and other abnormal processes of the tissues of the tongue. One common condition that causes a sore tongue is glossitis, an inflammation of the tongue that also results in tongue swelling and discoloration that is caused by irritants, infection or other disorders.

Depending on the cause, a sore tongue can begin suddenly and resolve on its own, such as after biting your tongue. Tongue pain or soreness that develops over time and worsens may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as cancer. A sore tongue is usually caused by some form of trauma, such as biting your tongue, or eating piping-hot or highly acidic food or drink. Other causes of a sore tongue include:

(1) If your top and bottom teeth don’t fit neatly together, tongue trauma is more likely.

(2) Some people may experience a sore tongue from grinding their teeth (bruxism).

(3) Disorders such as diabetes, anaemia, some types of vitamin deficiency and certain skin diseases can include a sore tongue among the range of symptoms.

(4) A sore tongue can be caused by disorders including black hairy tongue.