No one wants tongue infections since this is the strongest body muscle that helps in food tasting and swallowing as well as talking and therefore any slight tongue problem is a great worry. What are the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for tongue infections?
There are three categories of tongue infections may have different symptoms taken into consideration that there are also different. It must be taken into consideration infections have risk factors that trigger them. So, you will be more vulnerable to if you can’t avoid the risk factors. Luckily, there are many treatment options that can be used to deal or treat these infections.
Before we explore the risk factors, let us begin by getting detailed information about the three categories of tongue infections.
Risk of related infections
Tongue infections are common problems in our day to day life. Anyone can develop this problem but the vulnerability depends on exposure to certain risk factors. These risk factors can be common to all types of infections or to specific kinds. Like for instance, the risk factor can trigger both bacterial and fungal infection or it may only trigger bacterial or fungal infection alone. Such factors may involve age, medical history, certain medication and more. Here are the common risks that can make you vulnerable. For instance, you will vulnerable if:
- You wear dentures
- You are diabetic
- You have weakened immune (this is common with children and old people)
- You are a fun to tongue piercing
- You don’t observe general oral hygiene
- You are undergoing steroid medications among other risky medications
- You have sore or wound on your tongue or mouth and basically not due to infection. It can be due to physical mouth injury or otherwise
Types of tongue infections
The three types that we are going to discuss here include bacterial, fungal and viral infections. We are also going to explore their respective treatments.
1. Bacterial Tongue Infections
They are common with those who are fans of tongue piercing. Some of the metal studs used in the process collects the bacteria that will cause infections. According to dental-health-advice.com, “stainless steel, collect more bacteria than titanium or plastic studs. The wounds resulting from tongue piercing may also get infected is proper medical care is not administered.
Physical trauma to the tongue can also cause wounds or blisters that can infected by bacteria.
Using proper tools and methods during piercing will help. The studs causing the infections should be removed and cleaned or sterilized. Medications involving antibiotics are also used as a good bacterial infection treatment.
2. Fungal –yeast and oral thrush
Another cause is the fungal tongue infection, oral thrush is the common type. They are often due to “Candida Albicans”. This microorganism is usually found in the mouth but at lower rate. This a common cause that doesn’t cause severe problems. This condition will get serious when the immune system become weakened, at this time, the infection will spread rapid in the tongue, cheeks or the entire mouth.
People undergoing steroids, wearing dentures or suffering from diabetes are the most vulnerable group. To know it is oral thrush or fungal infections, it will cause thick white or rather cream-colored deposit on your tongue. Fungal infection can also trigger some mild to severe lesions on the tongue or other parts of the mouth.
There are several anti-fungal medicines having different forms that can be used to treat fungal tongue infections. There are gels to apply on the affected site and fluconazole/Nizoral tablets to swallow. There is also Nystatin lozenges medicines that are usually sucked. In addition to the mentioned treatments, immune disorders or diabetes can also be treated separately.
Viral tongue infection such as herpes is the third type. They usually bear varying symptoms, the range from mild to moderate to severe depending on the onset. Common symptoms include tinny blisters, less serious tingling sensation or even very painful huge blisters in severe cases. Viral infections can heal of their own but some also need medical intervention.
They can be treated using anti-viral medicines. Effective examples of anti-viral medicines are always used to manage and quicken the healing of tongue viral infections are Acyclovir and Famciclovir.
It is very important to have a comprehensive knowledge about symptoms of infected tongue. This will help you to different ion the symptoms of other problems from infections. This problem may result from other tongue problems and at the same time, can lead to certain problems such as tongue sores, blisters and more. The symptoms may be mild or severe all depending on the causes. See some of the common symptoms that indicate infection.
- Tongue discoloration
- Change in the taste
- Discharged from the affected area
- Small or large blisters filled with infectious fluids on the tongue
- Redness and tenderness
- Painful sores especially during eating when you give a speech
- Bleeding may follow serous sores on the tongue
- Bumps may appear on the tongue
In some cases, the symptoms may be very serious i.e. when you develop a fever alongside this problem this should be brought to doctor’s attention immediately. Normally, evaluation the symptom is a bit challenging and therefore it should be done by a medical expert. I recommend all symptoms should be examined by a doctor to determine whether it is an infection or other tongue problems such as allergic reactions, physical trauma or other conditions.
As we have seen before, you can develop some symptoms i.e. sores that have a different degree of severity. So, mild sores on tongue can be treated using some home remedies. On the same note, these home remedies can as well be used to prevent infections. Mostly, they have antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antiseptic and soothing properties that will help ease the pain sore infected tongue. However, if the symptoms persist or aggravate, see your doctor or dentist. Here are the common effective home remedies to treat infected tongue symptoms:
1. Lavender Essential Oil
This is a sweet-smelling essential oil that is very effective for treating infected tongue having sores. It will reduce the pain as well as inflammation. Moreover, it will also help to quicken the healing and skin repair process. You should not ingest lavender essential oil, it may endanger your health. To apply lavender essential oil:
- Add 3 drops of lavender oil to a cup of water and then use the mixture to rinse your mouth a few times. This should be done daily.
- Alternatively, you can mix3 drops of this oil with a tablespoon of honey and ¼ cup of water. Use this mixture as a mouth rinse thrice daily
2. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has antiseptic property that is very vital for treating sore infected tongue. It is also a wonderful anti-bacterial that will help in treating or preventing bacterial infection. According to top10homeremedies.com, you should only use 3 percent of hydrogen peroxide.
- Mix one cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and one cup of warm water
- Apply the mixture on the infected part using a clean cotton swab
- Allow it to sit for some seconds and then wash your mouth using warm water
- Repeat the procedure thrice in a day for a few days
3. Honey Rub
Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that give it the potential to treat infected tongue. Raw honey also has a wonderful soothing effect that can help the tongue’s color.
- Start by swishing warm water in your mouth
- Apply a thick honey dab on the affected part
- Repeat the procedures 3 times daily. This remedy works best if applied just before going to bed and then left overnight.
4. Warm Salty 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.”[everydayroots.com]. this is very important for fluid-filled blisters or canker sore on tongue. Gaggling warm salty water will also reduce swelling as well as providing soothing relief.
- You need to stir salt in warm water and then swish it around in the mouth thrice In a day until the infected sores are done with
5. Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil
Both Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil have anti-inflammatory properties the help in limiting or treating tongue infections. They are also astringents the help in relieving wounds and swellings. They are also cooling agent that help numb nerve ends and thus reduce pain.
- To olive oil in a glass mister bottle, add Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils
- Shake well and spray the mixture on the affected areas. Shake well before each use
6. Aloe Vera Rinse
Besides being known for its potential of treating many skin disorders why many home remedies seem less effective, aloe vera is also very effective for tongue blisters or sores. It bears natural healing and antibacterial properties and thus can speed up the healing of infected tongue relieve pain and inflammation.
- Cut a fresh aloe leaf into two and extract the gel
- Apply the gel on the affected tongue and leave it to stay for about 5 minutes
- Then rinse your mouth using lukewarm water
- Repeat the procedure thrice in a day for 4 days
7. Other Home Remedies
There are many other home remedies that can be used to a mild case. The secret is to choose on one remedy and apply it at a time. More home remedies that can be used to relive, treat or prevent tongue infections include:
- Baking soda
- Chamomile Tea Bag
- Sage herb
- Coconut oil
- Clove oil
- Wax Cup
- Yogurt and more
Now that you are conversant with the important home remedies to treat infected tongue, why don’t you try them out and come out of the symptoms?
Tongue is a critical body muscle that is charged with vital responsibilities, therefore any problem with the it should be examined by a medical practitioner however mild it may seem. Some of these symptoms may be mild but if not treated in time may be very severe. If OTC drugs and home remedies don’t work for you or if the tongue infection becomes chronic, please see your doctor for advanced and stronger treatments