People often think about the dentist as a professional that deals with teeth. In reality, however, dentists are concerned with the entire mouth – including your tongue. For this reason, he or she may talk to you about the appearance of your tongue and why your tongue affects your overall health. One of the biggest problems people experience with their tongue is having it be sore and bumpy. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there are several causes of a sore tongue, including trauma, canker sores, smoking, and oral cancer.
The most obvious cause, trauma, can be a result of biting your tongue or burning it on something that’s too hot. When this happens, the tongue may continue to be sore until the injury heals. Smoking, however, is a more permanent habit that causes damage through irritation; people who smoke frequently may find that their tongue feels unpleasant. Canker sores – or mouth ulcers – can also cause temporary pain and bumps on your tongue. No one knows what causes these sores, but stress is thought to be a trigger. Finally, although not common, sores/bumps that do not go away after a couple weeks could be a sign of oral cancer. Talk to your dentist about any tongue abnormalities you notice so you can get started on a treatment plan if necessary. By taking care of your tongue, you can improve your overall health.