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Burning Sensation/Sensitive Tongue

I've had a burning sensation on my tongue for about 1.5 weeks and I dont know if I should visit my dentist or make a doctor appt. My tongue feels as though I've burned it but I havent. Its very sensitive to citrus, spicy foods and its hard to even taste the food. Its even difficult to brush because of the toothpaste, it feels like my tongue and mouth are burning. Also, at the same time the sensations started, I got small red bumps all over my mouth. Very small but visible very close up. Its almost like my lips are chapped. I used 1% hydrocortisone on my lips and that has made the bumps smaller but my tongue condition seems to be getting worse. What can it be? And who should I visit: doctor or dentist? Someone told me it could be an infection trying to get out of my body. Could that be true? Could it be a vitamin deficiency? What can it be related to? I'm an otherwise healthy 25 year old that eats right and exercises. Thanks for your help!!!
279 Responses
Avatar universal
I have a similar problem.  I have a white coated tongue and it burns and feels almost like sandpaper.  My lips too are dry and cracked constantly.  My mouth is very dry.  I have good and bad news.  The good is that it could be only a yeast infection in your mouth called thrush.  The bad news is that ive been treated for thrush 3 or 4 times in my 4 year quest to get rid of this.  Your symptoms sound like thrush as does mine.  My symptoms have alleviated in the past year or two but it is still slightly there.  I smoke so it could be trapping the yeast infection there.  I dont know.  You should also look into Burning Mouth Syndrome.  Good luck
Avatar universal
I also have burning mouth syndrome. I have GERD and also went thro 2 biopsies for my tongue last year. Ist result on right side was mucosal neuroma, two months later, on the left was foliate pappitis.  2nd, 3rd, and 4th diagnosis on the right side turns out to be not mucosal neuroma but also unspecific inflammation consistent to inflamed pappilitis. Now I dont know what I actually have cos a gov hospital lost some of the specimens I sent for 2nd diagnosis but assured that the result was inflammation. But now I have burning sensation on my palate, gums and sides of my tongue, they call it burning mouth syndrome. Went thro diabetic, autoimmune, tests all negative.  Maxilofacial oral surgeon ask me to take amitripline 25mg once a night. Have tried to take for 2 weeks.  Seems to improve, also applying Biotene oral gel and rinse. Now have an ulcer on my gums, am very anxious cos have anxiety problems.Docs are not caring, everytime says nothing with my mouth but anxiety and depression may be the cause. Very scare of tongue cancer and other cancers. How to overcome this problem of anxiousness and panic attack? If you come across any solution to burning mouth pls reply.
Avatar universal
Man am I glad to see other people with tongue problems.  I have had pain on the side of my tongue for nearly 1.5 years - both on the left side and the right side.  I have talked to two general MD's, one ENT, and two dentists about it and nobody can seem to give me a clue as to what's wrong.

The left side of my tongue always seems sensitive.  It seems to be foliate pappitis to me but what do I know.  I do know that I have cut wayyyy back on sugar (about 90%) and things have improved.  I've never eaten too much sugar anyways but do see an improvement if I reduce refined sugars.

In any event, you folks are in good company.  I just wish there was something I could do.  I also have GERD but basically it's not too bad.  

Avatar universal
i have the same problem, Tongue seems always to be burning. Extreme sensitivity to salsa, hot sauce, spicy food which ive stopped eating, Lately im noticing sensitivity to citrus and even ketchup. no other problems with my mouth or gums, My tongue can get very dry and only water soothes it. I do have high blood sugar and Ive seens my Dr and Dentist but so far no good diagnosis
Avatar universal
i would look more towards seeing if it is geographic tongue i was told by a pathologist that with these symptoms and after i had shown pictures of time of high activity on the tongue that this what i have.  I am 26 and this is the first time i have had the symptoms. There is no cure nor is it harmful just annoying as hell.  If you feel that these symptoms consist of GT and you want proper diagnosis see an oral surgeon they can give you the best diagnosis.  Sites to look at are

http://www.dentalfind.com/glossary/geographic_tongue.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/geographic-tongue/DS00819/DSECTION=2

Avatar universal
I found this site because I'm so sick of not being able to eat anything spicy.  Even ketchup has started "burning" my tongue.  I used to have very frequent heartburn but started taking Prilosec OTC and don't have that anymore.  I'm wondering if it's causing my tongue problems though.  I never had this problem before Prilosec.  Seems to me it's either heartburn or tongueburn.  Even some raw veggies aggravated my tongue last night though.  It's so frustrating!!!  I have the same problem with thirst stvnmoore was talking about.  I have started eating more ice because it feels so good on my tongue.  I just wish someone could tell me what's going on.
Avatar universal
I have the same problems eating anything spicy or with too much garlic - my tongue goes on fire! I think it is because I eat too much ice! I feel like I have burned my tongue and because I am addicted to chewing ice - my only vise - that is the only thing I can figure out. When I don't eat spicy foods, I'm okay. Go figure. Anyone else chew on ice?
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Dear All:
      Burning mouth (tongue) syndrome is an umbrella diagnosis. Many local or systemic conditions can have this presentation. Local pathologic entities must be ruled out, such as candida albicans , geographic tongue. Systemic entities such as blood dyscrasia, nutritional deficiency, food intolerance or allergy must be ruled out, too. If there is no underlying pathology identified, it's probably a malfunction of central nervous system. Antidepressants(off-label use), gabapentin, pregablin, may help alleviate paresthesis or dysesthesia of mucosal symptoms. Seeing an oral pathologist or neurologist is advised.
Avatar universal
When people say a sensitive tongue do you mean like a constant nervy feeling, the tip of my tongue (along with all the other stuff like thrush) is like nervy all the time just a constant nerve nagging away 24/7, does anyome else have this problem?
Avatar universal
I have NEVER been able to eat HOT things like Peppers or Chilies or hot salsa. The heat is just way too intense for my mouth and tongue. Even toothpase tends to burn my mouth. Strawberries and raspberries sometime will make my tongue BREAK OUT with little red patches that are so incredably PAINFULL!! They dont stay there for very long, maybe 20 minutes or so but.....What the hell is that all about??? I also have GERD. Is there a connection?
Avatar universal
Same here.  I have been experiencing a tongue that is like sandpaper with tiny white furry type dots on the right side of my tongue. Not many, just a few but they are there. My tongue also looks like there are little gaps or what looks like cuts..(no bleeding though).  Seems to irritate with coffee or spice.  Has me worried.  First trip to the doc's office says it could be a sign of weak immune system (possibly HIV) which I find next to impossible as my wife and I are very very low risk. Plus for insurance purposes we had an HIV test 2 years ago and both came back neg.  Still has me worried as I cannot figure out what this is. Doctor gave me some medicine for the yeast infection, has controlled it abit but not entirely.  Any ideas?
Avatar universal
Most likely its food intolerance. I had this problem along with brain fog, gastro symptoms, emotional /mental symptoms etc. for about 18 months. Went off wheat, dairy, corn. thought I was better but still had reactions to things like strawberries, tomatoes, rockmelon. spicy food, grapes. avocado etc etc.  These are all high in natural food chemicals such as salicylates, amines and glutumates.  Improved after 6 weeks on elimination diet. BUT recently have been getting burning tongue symptoms and mouth.  Think its my lipstick.  When I first tried it, my mouth tingled but I kept using it (vanity) and my mouth symptoms seem worse.  A lot of lipsticks contain salicylates, natural or artificial etc.  Also, toothpaste is very high in salicylates (anything mint flavoured is).  I use baking soda.
Avatar universal
I also suffer from a burning tongue.  I did not always have this condition.  I use to eat very hot and spicy foods.  The hotter the better.  All of a sudden my tongue burned really bad after eating something hot.  I thought I had burnt my tongue.  This condition never went away.  Now, I cannot eat anything that is even mild.  Ketchup even burns my tongue.  My tongue does not look smooth.  It looks like I have cuts all across my tongue all the time.  I have had this for years and never went to the doctor.  I just became use to it and stopped eating spicy foods.  I have alway had problems with my teeth.  Anyone else have dental problems (cavities).
Avatar universal
I also started having this probelm after taking paracetamol(pain killers) for serveral days for the cold symptoms. I thought initially it will go by soon but it kept on continue and down the eight months i still have this sensation. But i really dont understand how i dont feel it when we go to sleep. is it because of that We are thinking of this or is it really there?. I have been to so many doctors all say there is nothing wrong with your tongue so they prescribe the Anti depressants. This feels like hell and my Gerd problem has become more due to this sensation. Anyways I keep a small piece of clove to cope with this problem everyday in my mouth and after that I doesnt feel this problem.

Anbody has a cure for this please let me know I will be thankful to you throughout my life.
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
if there is no localized pathology and systemic precipitation factor identified , central and/or peripheral nervous dysfunction is probably the culprit. Topical application of capcisin combined with systemic administration of anticonvulsant,for example,gabapentin, and tricyclic antidepressant, for example, amitryptyline  may be effective. Nutritional and trace mineral supplemental may be indicated. Seeing an orofacial pain specialist is advised.
Avatar universal
I've had the same problem with my tongue for the past 2 years now.  The tip of my tongue burns most of the day and I keep getting ulcers on the side of my tongue.  Sometimes it's really bad and sometimes it's bearable.  My tongue has become so sensitive that I have a hard time eating ketchup, vinegar salad dressing,citruses and even soda can trigger it.  Also my tongue feels dry all the time.  I've been to quite a few doctors and they have not been able to help. My Dentist was the only one who showed concern and he put me on Diflucan (for candida) for 3 weeks but after the first week, I became so sick to my stomach that I couldn't handle it anymore and stopped the medication.  I have to admit that it did help a little but now it's back full force.  It causes much worry and anxiety as I'm already on an antidepressant for the past 4 years for depression and anxiety.
Avatar universal
I too have the burning tongue syndrome.  I was give Dukes miracle mouthwash by my dentist and it cured it for several months.  It is back again and I have an appointment with my dentist in several days.  I tried increasing my B12 intake but it only helped for a few days.  An associate who also has it has to take B12 injections to releive her pain.  A  topographical tongue seems to be the common issue, small "cracks" in the tounge.  
Avatar universal
Hello,
I have been experiencing a burning tongue for about three months now.  It seemed to start after I started taking Lithium.  I noticed that after a month or so, my tongue was extremely sensitive.  I discontinued the Lithium and my tongue improved but my mood soured.  I started to take the Lithium again to see if the symptoms would start again. They did. They came back with a vengence.
The inside of my lip, where my tongue rests, burns. My tongue burns, almost, constantly.  Hot foods, soda, anything to eat or drink basically will burn my tongue. Oddly enough, pretzels don't seem to burn as bad.  
I am diabetic (one year, Glipizide twice daily), have depression (fluoxetine), anxiety (ativan), high cholestoral (Lovistatin) Gerd (OTC prilosec), chronic pain (T3) and muscle spasms (soma).  The only meds that I take faithfully, daily are fluoxetine, Lovastatin and Glipizide.  
The first time I discontinued the Lithium my tongue went back to almost normal. Now, it has been three weeks since I have stopped taking it the second time and it still hursts badly.
Cold water makes it feel better. Ice can make it hurt.
Since I was a very small child my tongue has been ultra-sensitive to citrus fruits.  If I eat too many citrusy fruits, especially pineapple, my tongue would get sore and get round, red welt-like spots on the surface and sometimes small slits.
Sometimes it hurts when I swallow on the left-side of my neck.
Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for sharing your story so I know that I am not alone.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem since few months but I am looking for a solutions. Does anybody has a solutions??? Please help! I have shown to ENT and dentists too.

Somebody has gone through this kind of problem and found the solutions, please share with us. Thank you in advance
Avatar universal
i have had the same symptoms;  acutely burning tongue, tiny not noticeable spots on inside of lips, tip of tongue and around mouth, and blistery type extreemely sore bumps on palate mostly at front...am also starting to experience slight breathlessness and tightness in throat...   it is very difficult to cope with..havnt been able to have a normal relationship with partner for fear of it being catching..and anyway would be too painful to kiss  etc...its ruining my normally healthy life..went to doc treated for mouth fungal infection ..no change..took amoxycillin ..no change...getting totally drunk eleviates it!!  but dont really want to be an alcoholic....PLEASE HELP...
Avatar universal
I found information which may help some - if you are taking a medicine like Prilosec.  I wish I could be really clinical about explaining it but basically Prilosec blocks the body's absorption of folic acid.  I have had a sensitive/sore/burning tongue for months and finally went to the doc after trying to treat it myself with dry mouth washes, etc.  She ordered a blood test which showed that I had a folic acid deficiency.  It is because of the Prilosec.  So, I've started taking folic acid pills every morning (cheap at the drug store and 100% folic acid) and it has helped.  I hope this helps someone else here.
Avatar universal
I used to take aciphex and I stopped taking aciphex and it has somewhat gone down but I still have burning sensation. Aciphex is same as Prilosac. May be I need to do is blood test and find out if I have folic acid deficiency. Thank you!
Avatar universal
I too take Prilosec and had started to experience burning tongue problems. Based on the comments on this forum, I started taking a multi-vitamin and 400 mg of folic acid on a daily basis. Within a week, my burning tongue symptoms subsided. Thanks for the advice.
Avatar universal
iam suffering with this ailment, it was brought on by a bout of extreme anxiety, when we are anxious, stressed or depressed our nervous system can misfire, I believe this is causing my problem, Iam taking amitriptyline and it is really helping.
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