Tongues are supposed to be pink. When someone’s tongue begins to turn the color of a cherry and becomes sore to touch and movement, there are a few things to be concerned about.
Reasons for a Red Sore Tongue
A red, sore tongue can indicate some not-so-fun problems like oral thrush, geographic tongue, and oral cancer.
Oral thrush is often found on tongues that have recently been exposed to oral antibiotics. This means the patient has been taking antibiotics for a different issue. The chemicals in the medicine burned the tongue from so much exposure causing soreness and red patches on the tongue.
Geographic tongue makes the tongue look like an evolving map. The papillae on the surface of the tongue die and regrow in red patches, though these are usually surrounded by a white border. The patches caused by geographic tongue change and sometimes move around on the tongue.
Oral cancer, though rare, could be a reason for a swollen and red sore tongue. Signs of oral cancer normally include unusual swelling on one side of the tongue that does not dissipate after two weeks. If you have a sore tongue with these symptoms, be sure to see a doctor for diagnosis.
These problems don’t always start in the mouth, either. Having an unbalanced diet and being over stressed can cause a red, sore tongue as well.
Now, just because the previously mentioned tongue problems can be a reason for a red, sore tongue, canker sores and trauma (biting or hitting) to the tongue can show similar side effects. These spots can swell, cause sore pain, and take time to heal.
Treating a Red Sore Tongue
All of these types of red, sore tongues can be treated if they are properly diagnosed, so see a doctor if pain in or the size of the tongue increases.
One of the best ways to prevent a red, sore tongue from becoming red and sore again is to brush your tongue. Proper oral hygiene is key to keeping a happy mouth, but brushing the tongue is one of the most effective ways to fight bacteria on the tongue (not to mention, it helps get rid of bad breath!).
The Orabrush was invented specifically for cleaning the tongue. It has micro fiber bristles on the head that pull gunk from the surface of the tongue, allowing the tongue to worry about more pressing issues, like tasting your dinner. Brushing the tongue regularly can reduce the occurrence of a red, sore tongue–so brush it regularly.