There are plenty of articles on the web about swollen tongues, but most of them refer to the entire tongue or the top of the tongue. So here’s a little bit of information about swelling under the tongue.
Under tongue swelling can be caused by many of the same things that make the rest of your tongue swell, along with a whole new set of painful conundrums, like blocked salivary glads, gland stones, and swollen veins.
Deciphering the Signs of Under Tongue Swelling
First, you need to know if your whole tongue or only parts of your tongue are swollen.
Having a completely swollen tongue is often the result of an allergic reaction. Think back–have you had any unusual things in your mouth lately like a new nut, shellfish, or foreign food? Chances are you may want to see a doctor if you have. Tongue swelling due to an allergy can be life threatening if it isn’t taken care of properly.
If you are fairly certain your swollen tongue isn’t the result of a new food, there are plenty of other things that may have caused your tongue to grow. If you recently bit your tongue, had dental work done, or haven’t been cleaning your mouth properly, your tongue could be swelling as a reaction to trauma or infection.
Canker sores are always a possibility for under tongue swelling because they can occur anywhere in or on the mouth.
Veins under the tongue can also become swollen when irritated. This may be connected to the common cold, unusual amounts of stress, or hormone imbalances.
Sometimes blocked salivary glands or mucoceles can cause under tongue swelling. A mucocele is a blocked salivary gland that forms a clear bump under the tongue or along the side of the mouth. These generally heal on their own, but if they swell to an uncomfortable size or they don’t heal after a few weeks, be sure to see a doctor.
Oral cancer most often shows in older patients who have had frequent exposure to tobacco or alcohol, though it can also occur in people who do not fit any of the risk categories. If you feel a large bump under your tongue that swells or causes pain and doesn’t heal after more than two weeks, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Treating Under Tongue Swelling
Most issues causing under tongue swelling dissipate on their own in 4-10 days.
To reduce swelling and pain in your tongue you can suck on some ice or apply a numbing agent; but if your tongue is swollen for longer than a week, be sure to have it checked by a doctor. Sometimes a persistently swollen tongue can be a symptom of a more serious disease or infection than ice can fix.
Preventing Under Tongue Swelling
Obviously, the underside of your tongue is difficult to clean and reach. The best plan to prevent future under tongue swelling is to follow good oral hygiene habits. Brush and floss regularly, and don’t forget to brush your tongue!
Brushing your tongue can remove harmful bacteria that cause infections on and around your tongue.
The most effective tool to clean your tongue to avoid future swelling is to use an Orabrush. The Orabrush allows you to scrape nasty gunk that causes infections from the surface of your tongue.
Just place the soft bristled head against the back of your tongue and pull forward to pull off the bad stuff hiding between your taste buds. If you clean your tongue regularly, it will hopefully stay happy and healthy.