There are several possible causes for a sore mouth or tongue. The lining of your mouth can become irritated and inflamed by hot, spicy foods or hot drinks, or because you overuse mouthwashes, drink heavily, or smoke.
Your tongue may be tender and have a smooth, red appearance, and your sense of taste may be altered. How To Prevent Sore Mouth Or Tongue.
You may also get a sore mouth if you bite your tongue or cheek accidentally, or if you have rough or broken teeth or badly fitting dentures.
Other causes include common mouth ulcers, gum disorders, and mouth infections such as thrush. In rare cases, a sore mouth is caused by a more serious illness.
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Make an appointment to see your doctor if:
- You have signs of an infection, such as white patches inside your mouth.
- You feel lethargic, are not eating well, and/or are losing weight
- Your mouth and eyes are persistently dry
Soothing mouthwash Dissolve half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate or salt in 250 ml (half a pint) of warm water, and use this to rinse your mouth regularly during the day, especially after eating. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out.
Arrange to see your doctor if:
- The soreness becomes worse, or does not subside after a few days of using the self-help measures described here
What you can do yourself
Use the following home treatments to soothe and irritated mouth and tongue:
- Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. Cool drinks and ice lollies are soothing. Don’t drink alcohol or smoke – both can irritate your mouth. How To Prevent Sore Mouth Or Tongue
- Try using a homemade mouthwash (see NATURAL REMEDIES). Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they may cause further irritation.
- Don’t give up cleaning your teeth, just do it gently using a very soft toothbrush.
- Eat small, frequent meals of soft foods, such as milk puddings, mashed potato and gravy, yoghurt, and custard. Avoid salty, spicy foods, coarse foods such as toast, and acidic fruit juices.
- Try using a painkilling mouth treatment (see DRUG REMEDIES)
- If you have a dry mouth, use sugar-free chewing gum to stimulate saliva flow. How To Prevent Sore Mouth Or Tongue
- See your dentist if you have rough or broken teeth, or if your dentures don’t fit properly.
Painkilling mouth treatments can help to relieve soreness. Some rinses, lozenges, and sprays reduce pain and inflammation, while others contain a local anesthetic that numbs sore areas.
However, using anesthetic preparations regularly may increase irritation. Ask your pharmacist for advice before mouth treatments to a child.