What Are Tongue Lesions?

Radiotherapy, such as with a linear accelerator, can result in tongue lesions.
Mouthwash can help people who have tongue lesions.
Drinking hot liquids can cause tongue lesions that typically heal quickly.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Tongue lesions may form when a person suffers an injury to the tongue. The tongue can be injured in a number of different ways, from the benign to the malignant, and many people experience tongue lesions at some point during their lives. In cases where the injures require treatment, the patient may need medications or surgery, depending on the nature of the lesions.

One of the most common injuries to the tongue is a burn caused by eating or drinking substances which are too hot. The tongue heals very quickly, but may be tender, red, and swollen for several days while the burn heals. Canker sores are another common form of tongue lesion, in which a small ulceration develops. These sores can be associated with chronic diseases and they also appear independently. Neither of these requires medical treatment, with rest and small dietary adjustments usually being enough to manage them during healing.

When patients develop oral infections, this can result in tongue lesions. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection and resolve the lesions. Lesions can also develop as a result of chronic inflammation and irritation in the mouth, as might happen if a foreign body becomes embedded in the tongue or cheek. Blood blisters are an example of a lesion which can form as a result of irritation, with the blister usually resolving on its own.

Ad

Cancers in the mouth lead to the development of tongue lesions as the cancer cells spread and multiply. Patients can also develop lesions in their mouths as a result of radiotherapy for cancers of the head and neck, with the radiation damaging the tissue on the tongue and causing painful sores. People may also develop lesions if they are exposed to allergens. Some people may develop lesions on the lips and mouth if they have allergies to foods such as fresh pineapple.

If someone experiences recurrent tongue lesions or lesions which do not appear to be healing, it is advisable to visit a doctor. The doctor can examine the patient and run some diagnostic tests to determine what is causing the tongue lesions. This information can be used to make treatment recommendations. Sometimes adjusting the patient's diet and providing some medications is enough to clear up the lesions and allow the tongue to heal fully so that they will not recur. In other cases, more aggressive therapies may be needed.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Instion
Post 1

Aloe vera would probably work in the healing of tongue lesions, as it is a renowned treatment for a variety of skin problems and conditions. It's also very soothing.

Are there certain foods cause allergic reactions in the form of tongue lesions? Do spicy foods result in tongue lesions more than other foods?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email