The tongue is a very sensitive part of the body, so a sore tongue can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It can appear as small bumps, red lumps or raised areas of the tongue.
There is no particular known cause for a sore tongue. However, the most common cause is accidentally biting the tongue or injuring the tongue while using a toothpick or toothbrush.
Other causes include a viral infection, heredity, hormonal changes in the body, a weak immune system, eating too spicy and salty foods, intestinal or stomach disorders, stress, and deficiencies of minerals and vitamins like zinc, folic acid, iron and the B group of vitamins.
Some natural remedies can help heal and ease the pain of a sore tongue. However, if the pain and inflammation persist for a week, consult your doctor or dentist.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for a sore tongue.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has many curative and healing properties that can treat many oral problems, including a sore tongue. Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce pain and inflammation.
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf and apply it directly on the affected area. Repeat a few times daily.
- Another option is to rinse your mouth with aloe vera juice 3 or 4 times a day.
Follow either of these remedies daily until the pain and inflammation is gone.
2. Baking Soda
For treating a sore tongue, baking soda is also a good remedy. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe pain and inflammation.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda with a little water to make a paste. Apply it to the affected area for 1 minute, then rinse it off with warm water.
- You can also mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water and use the solution as a mouth rinse several times a day.
Use either of these remedies 3 or 4 times daily until you get rid of the problem.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a very effective antiseptic against a sore tongue. It has strong antibacterial properties that reduce the risk of infection. Use only 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.
- Mix equal amounts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and warm water.
- Apply it on the affected area using a clean cotton swab.
- Leave it on for a few seconds, then rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Do this a few times a day for a few days.
Salt is a natural antiseptic that you can use to treat a sore tongue. It will help reduce pain as well as inflammation. Moreover, it can prevent infection.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of lukewarm water. Stir well and use it as a mouth rinse a 3 or 4 times daily until the sore is healed.
- You can even apply a little salt directly on the affected area to help dry out the sore. However, it is likely to sting at first.
The medicinal and healing properties of licorice are effective in treating a sore tongue. This herb has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm and soothe the affected area.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of licorice root powder with enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste on the affected area with a cotton swab. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Repeat a few times in a day.
- You can also prepare a mouth rinse by soaking 1 tablespoon of licorice root in 2 cups of water for 3 hours. Use the solution as a mouth rinse a few times daily.
- Another option is to chew 1 or 2 chewable 200 mg deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) tablets, 2 or 3 times a day.
Note: Those suffering from high blood pressure must not use licorice root remedies.
6. Lavender Essential Oil
You can also use the sweet-smelling lavender essential oil to treat your sore tongue. This oil helps reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, it will help speed up healing and skin repair.
- Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a cup of warm water. Use it to rinse your mouth a few times daily.
- Another option is to mix 3 drops of lavender essential oil, 1 teaspoon of honey and ¼ cup of hot water. Then, dilute it with ½ glass of cold water. Use this solution as a mouth rinse a few times a day.
Note: Do not ingest lavender essential oil. It can be dangerous to your health.
Honey has soothing and curative properties that can help relieve pain and inflammation caused by a sore tongue.
- Dab a little honey on the affected part of your tongue, a few times a day.
- You can also mix 1 tablespoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of turmeric to make a paste. Apply it on the affected area, allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. Do this 3 or 4 times daily for a few days.
Sage is another effective option to treat a sore tongue at home. The calming properties of sage can help reduce pain. Moreover, it has an astringent and drying effect on sores.
- Boil a handful of fresh sage leaves in 3 to 4 cups of water for 2 minutes, then simmer for another 5 minutes. Strain, add a few drops of tincture of myrrh and let the solution cool. Use it as a mouth rinse a few times a day.
- Another option is to apply powdered sage leaves directly on the sore. Do this 3 or 4 times a day.
9. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin that can temporarily desensitize the nerves that cause pain. Therefore, you can use cayenne pepper to relieve sore tongue pain and inflammation.
- Prepare a paste with a little bit of cayenne pepper powder and a few drops of water. Apply the paste on the affected area. It will cause irritation at first, but soon it will start working. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
- Another option is to chew or suck on a candy containing cayenne pepper.
Alum has astringent and antiseptic properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing by removing moisture from the sore.
- Apply a small amount of alum powder directly on the affected area.
- Allow it to sit for 1 minute. Do not swallow the alum.
- After a minute, spit out your saliva and the alum.
- Rinse your mouth with water.
- Repeat the process the next day, if required.
- Place an ice cube on the affected area to get immediate pain relief.
- You can take sips of ice-cold water from time to time to relieve pain.
- Take vitamin B12 supplements to prevent outbreaks of sores on tongue.
- If you are allergic to foods like chocolate, oranges, pineapples, strawberries, eggs, cheese, nuts, and coffee, avoid these foods.
- Along with brushing your teeth, it’s important to clean your tongue also. Use a tongue scraper to keep it clean and free from infection.
- Regularly rinse your mouth with a mouthwash to prevent infection.
- Do not smoke or quit smoking to prevent tongue soreness.
- Stress increases your risk of developing a sore tongue. So, try to reduce stress with yoga, deep breathing and eating the right foods.
- Change your toothpaste to heal a sore tongue. Avoid toothpaste that contains a compound called “sodium lauryl sulfate” as it can cause injury to skin cells lining the inside of the mouth.
- Make sure you gently brush your teeth and use a soft-bristled brush.