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Sores on Side of Tongue Causes, Treatments and Remedies

Pain, blisters or sores on side of the tongue may reveal that it is hurt or infected. A number of different conditions can affect can cause sores, change in taste, color or its texture. Let us see the potential causes, symptoms, treatments and more.


Sores on Side of Tongue Causes, Symptoms, Won’t Go Away, STD’s, Treatment and Remedies

One theory we have to understand is that sores on the sides of the tongue may be due to something happening on the particular side only but it can also be due to something affecting the whole tongue or mouth.

I simply mean that what causes them on the back, tip or under the tongue may as well result in sores both sides or one side. Let us now look at some of the common causes

Canker sores  (aphthous ulcers)

Canker sores can result in painful sores. These are small ulcer sores that develop anywhere in the mouth including on side of the tongue. They appear as white or yellow blisters with red border.

Canker sores on the side of the tongue
Canker sores 

They may also begin as red bumps or spots that later develop to open ulcers. Canker sore causes may include emotional stress, hormonal imbalances, weakened immune system or celiac disease.

Though canker sores are usually mild and will go away by themselves after a short while, it is better to treat them as soon as you discover the symptoms, why? Because they can get infected resulting in more severe conditions such as swollen lymph nodes. For best canker sore treatment, you may see your doctor.

Oral injuries

Tongue biting injuries on the side of tongue
Biting injuries

The sores occurring on this part can be due to external traumas and injuries. One may bite his or her tongue while chewing or talking (this is common in those have misaligned teeth) resulting in painful sores.

Biting can also result even from physical fights you know. Eating crunchy food can also injure the side of our tongue resulting in sores. Such injuries are always accompanied by bleeding that need to be responded to promptly.

Oral thrush

Oral thrush is an infection that usually occurs in the mouth and caused by bacteria called candida.  It can lead to sores or white tongue. There are many risk factors that may make somebody to develop this infection. For instance, you can easily develop oral thrush if you have:

  • Been under antibiotic or corticosteroids medications
  • Weakened immune system
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dry or dehydrated mouth
  • Diabetes
  • Been wearing dentures especially those that don’t fit properly
Oral thrush on the side of tongue can cause sores
Oral thrush 

Cold sores

Cold Sores or what is otherwise called fever blisters are a common viral infection of the mouth. They have the same symptoms as canker sores, they are tiny, fluid-filled that can also occur anywhere in the mouth. This infection is caused by herpes simplex virus.

Dentures and braces

According to treatcurefast.com, “Metal braces and crooked dentures can cause injuries to the sides of your tongue causing pain.” Dentures fitted on teeth can cause irritation due to continued friction between apertures and the sides of the tongue can result in sores.

Dental carries

Having dental carries can result in sores because the infection can be transmitted from the tooth to the tongue. Alternatively, the tooth may inflame the gums hence affecting the entire side including the tongue side.

Allergens and irritants

Foreign substances ingested into the mouth that form allergens and irritants can lead to sore due to hypersensitive reactions. Allergens in our case here can include certain foods, certain medication or some drinks. Children are most affected since their tongue can get irritated so fast. They tend to taste clear liquids which can be irritating and hence sores or the general mouth sores.

Other possible causes

Apart from the above causes, more possible causes:

  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Vitamin deficiency and anemia
  • Extreme mouth dehydration
  • Geographic tongue
  • Chipped tooth near affected side
  • Forceful tongue scrubbing and forceful brushing of teeth
  • Certain foods containing too much salt, spice, and acid

Signs and symptoms

Perhaps you are struggling with this problem and don’t know the causes. Well, knowing the exact cause is very vital for proper treatment. The only challenge is that some of the causes have similar symptoms hence the diagnosis process may be a bit challenging. You should see your doctor to examine the symptoms and provide the effective medication. Here are common symptoms that usually appear alongside sores:

  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Red spots on tongue
  • Painful blisters
  • Burning or itching sensation
  • A furry appearance
  • Difficulty while moving it
  • Tongue color changes
  • Partial loss of taste
  • Cracked, red areas of skin at the corners of your mouth

Symptoms like those of canker sores usually disappear of their own but should not be taken for granted. They should be examined by a doctor too.

Remember some symptoms may simply start as something very mild and harmless but if not treated in time, you may talk about something else you couldn’t imagine! But all the same, there are many remedies outside there that have been successful in treating these sores. We’ll discuss them shortly.


“Oral sex is common to sexually active adults of all ages and orientations,” says healtreatcure.org. First, we have to acknowledge that, STDs are contracted via various forms of sexual activity. Some of these infections are likely to affect the mouth than other parts. Common STDs that may occur in the mouth and lead to tongue sores include chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

The above STDs can only be transmitted from one person to the other through the contact with body fluids. When kissing with infected persons and all of you both have open mouth lesions, then you can easily contract the infections. The symptoms will vary depending on which STD is causing your tongue sores. They can be mild or severe.

To prevent STDs, you should practice safe sex. Know the STD status of your sex partner and avoid oral sex if you are not sure about the other partner`s status. Don’t forget, while play safe oral sex, other forms of sex must also be safe.

Won’t go away – oral or tongue cancer

Oral cancer sores on the back side of the tongue
Oral cancer sores on the back side of the tongue

Assumption people make on persistent cases may cost them a lot when the worse comes to worst. Tongue cancer may begin just like a mere sore would appear, in fact, not that painful.

Canker sore may be blamed in this case but that might not be true. Examination by the doctors and experts could be the best choice to make so as to diagnose your condition and treat it effectively.

Don’t ignore sores on your tongue, it could be due to something more dreadful. Any tongue lesion should be taken seriously. Howshealth.com advises that “One must remember that tongue lesions are at times a precursor to cancer. Hence, keen observation and immediate management is of utmost importance”


Many cases often heal extemporaneously within just a few days and thus no treatment may be needed. However, medical treatments will be demanded if the sores aggravate or become persistent to an extent of interfering with normal function of the mouth or tongue.

Treatments involve medical treatments and home remedies. Among their roles, medicines will help in killing the germ causing sores, relieving itchiness and pain, enhancing wound healing speed among other roles. Some of the sore tongue treatments include:

  • Corticosteroids solutions such as hydrocortisone and triamcinolone acetonide. This treatment help in relieving pain
  • Antiviral and antifungal drugs for infections
  • Antibiotics especially for those struggling with Staphylococcus-triggered sores
  • In cases of severe pain and discomfort, anti-inflammatory medicines and carbamide peroxide can be applied
  • Application of medicated mouthwash and even oral sprays
  • Vitamin and mineral supplementation may also be very significant

There are more medication options that your doctor may recommend depending on the specific causes. In addition, there are also home remedies that can effectively help in preventing as well as treating mouth sores. Some of these wonderful home remedies are discussed below.

Home remedies

Here are the most appropriate home remedies for tongue sores. Simply pick at one remedy and use it persistently.

1.      Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial that functions by killing the bacteria causing the infections besides soothing the pain by reducing inflammation. In addition, it has a nice taste and guarantees excellent results on the application.

  • Dab a cotton wool in the coconut oil
  • Apply it gently on the affected area
  • Alternatively, you can melt one tablespoon of beeswax
  • Mix it with the coconut oil to form a thick paste
  • Apply it on the affected side of tongue to stick

Aloe vera

Natural gel extracted from fresh aloe vera is known to be a great remedy for many body conditions worldwide. In our case, the mouth and tongue are not an exclusive. It works by soothing pain caused by the sores and healing the tongue blisters. It also kills the bacteria that may spread the infection to other parts. For application:

  • Put fresh extract of aloe vera in a bowl
  • Add water and stir it to form a mixture
  • Swish it around your mouth gently over the affected area
  • This should be repeated thrice a day to achieve best results

You may not like the taste but believe, you`ll a very amazing results!

Honey Rub

A honey rub is another remedy that is antibacterial and thus performs by eliminating bacteria that may be causing the infection around your mouth.  While still raw, it also functions by reducing inflammations hence soothing the pain caused by the sores.

  • Swish a little warm water in your mouth
  • Apply a thick paste of raw honey on the sore directly
  • Repeat this twice during the day and once before retiring to bed for brilliant output.


Yogurt is a sweet fermentation from milk delicacies that is used worldwide to restore a healthy balance. When taken daily, it can assist alleviate sore mouth and tongue. It works by balancing bacteria levels within the mouth. Beware of the brand you are using and that should be plain yogurt.

  • Take a minimum of one tablespoon thrice a day
  • For better results, a cup would hasten healing.

Warm Saline Water

“When the salt content around cells is greater on the outside than the inside osmosis takes place, with water being drawn from in the cells to help balance out the concentration,” says heatreatcure.org. This may help to gently burst the blister and speed the healing process. Warm salty water can enhance the treatment of sore mouth and tongue whereby the water cools and soothes the pain in the sores. The salt will also ensure that high hygiene standards is maintained.

  • Prepare warm water in a glass and add some salt into to it
  • Stir to form a solution
  • Swish it around your mouth
  • Repeat this three times a day until the sores fade away.

Other remedies

  • Avoid smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol
  • Wait until your food cools before eating
  • Be careful while chewing to avoid biting your tongue or mouth walls
  • Avoid foods that you are allergic to alleviate hypersensitivity
  • Exercise to free of stress

There are more multiples of remedies that can be used to prevent and treat mouth sores. Your doctor can advise you well on what to do to treat your condition after examination].


Mouth as well as tongue sores are common disorders that affect many people in the world today. Having known the cause of your condition and the symptoms, the doctor can prescribe the best treatment effectively to handle the disorder. If you experience minor cases in your mouth, do not assume them. Take them to the doctor for further examination and treatment before the condition aggravates.

  1. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tongue-pain/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  2. http://www.medicinenet.com/sore_tongue/symptoms.htm
  3. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/mouth-sores-and-infections/article/tongue-blisters-types-treatment-1215
  4. http://buildinggreatsmiles.com/blog/why-does-my-tongue-hurt/
  5. http://www.netwellness.org/question.cfm/80158.htm
  6. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/mouth-and-dental-disorders/lip-and-tongue-disorders/tongue-sores-and-bumps
  7. http://www.ourhealth.com/conditions/ears-nose-mouth-throat-conditions/sore-sides-of-tongue-throat-swelling

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