Sore Under Tongue, Painful, Red, Canker, Cold, Std, Pictures, Causes, Get Rid, Treatment & Home Remedies

A sore under tongue may be painful or painless, depending on what causes it. Although canker sores are the common cause of sores under tongue, there are other possible causes. This post explores the various reasons for under tongue sores, their pictures, signs and symptoms. It also outlines how you can get rid of the sores underneath your tongue fast with medical treatment and effective home remedies.

Signs and Symptoms of Sore under Tongue

Have you ever experienced a painful lesion under your tongue? This could be a sore in your oral cavity. Mouth sores are painful injuries, ulcers or spots that can occur anywhere on your oral cavity including the undersurface of your tongue.

A sore on your tongue may appear in different forms depending on the causal agent. They can manifest in a form of bumps, blood-filled blisters, open wounds, ulcers, patches or any other type of a lesion on the affected area of the tongue.

The characteristic of a month sore under the tongue can manifest in different ways. For your individual knowledge about forms and nature of sores below the tongue surface, we have provided various signs and symptoms related to this oral condition.

Here are signs and symptoms of sores under the tongue that include the following:

  • Redness or inflammation underneath of the tongue
  • Pain under the surface of the tongue
  • Difficult to chew and swallow food or saliva
  • Tiny or large bumps on the frenulum of the tongue
  • Fluid-filled blisters at the base of tongue
  • Soreness on entire oral cavity include the throat
  • Temporal loss of taste
  • Dryness of oral cavity
  • Hard bumps like a sore under the base of mouth
  • Itchy spots or patches under the tongue surface
  • Swollen tonsils

Beside all these signs and symptoms, you can also develop are symptoms on your body that may accompany a sore under your tongue.  These include a headache, fever, body weakness, vomiting, coughing, and others.

These symptoms can be either mild or more serious oral condition that needs medical concern. It is advisable to monitor any mouth sore under your tongue and if it won’t go away within a period of three weeks, you can seek the help of your doctor.


Causes of Sore Under Tongue

What could be the cause of painful sore under the tongue? According to medical research, there are various reasons that may result in tongue sores. The type and condition of sore under your tongue may depend on its causal agent.

Some of these causal agents may lead to a harmless ulcer on your tongue that may resolve itself without the help of medical treatment. Occasionally, tongue sore might refuse to heal and develop into the chronic wound. This is can be an indication of more serious tongue problem that needs medical treatment.

The common possible factors that can cause sore under the tongue include the following:

1. Tongue injuries

A sore under your tongue may appear due to the consequence of tongue injuries. Physical damage on the undersurface of the tongue or on lingual frenulum can lead to wounds or bumps that can develop into mouth ulcers like sores.

Tongue injuries may happen during the process of chewing or eating food. Chewing dried foods such as nuts and popcorns can cause small cuts on the thin lining of the tongue. Also, you can accidentally bite your tongue during the time of chewing food.

Other common practices that can lead to tongue injuries include:

  • Consumption of hot foods and drinks that may burn the tongue
  • Eating too spicy foods that cause may irritate the tongue
  • Placing sharp objects in your mouth cavities such as toothpicks and needles
  • Cunnilingus or oral sex that may cause friction to occur between the lower middle incisors and tongue

2. Canker sore

A canker sore is a common cause of mouth sore. It can also affect the undersurface parts of the tongue. This sore is characterized by painful gray, white or yellow ulcers on the affected area. Canker sore can also show up on gums, inside of lips, mouth roof and inside cheeks.

There are no clear known causes that lead to the outbreak of canker sores in the oral cavity. However, the condition is attributed to occur when you are exposed to the following risk factors that may encourage the infection that include:

  • Weaken body immunity system
  • Body stress and fatigue
  • Deficiency of body nutrients
  • Oral trauma or injuries
  • Change of body hormones
  • Allergic reaction from certain types of foods

Canker sore under the tongue is a mild problem that can heal within a period of few weeks without the use of medical treatment. In few occasions, people with compromising body defense mechanism may experience more damage of canker sore on their mouth that needs medical treatment.

3. Cold sore

The outbreak of cold sore infection is known to occur outside the mouth cavity specifically around the lips and inside the nose. Occasionally, cold sore may show up inside the oral cavity including the undersurface of the tongue.

Cold sores are small fluid-filled blister that has five main distinguishing stages of infection that include the tingling sensation before a blister appears on the affected area. The blister ooze out fluids, crust over and finally heal.

This infection is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). This virus is also called oral herpes virus that is highly communicable from one person to another through direct skin contact with the infected body fluids or saliva.

Once you are infected with this virus, it can stay in your body for the rest of your life in a dormant state. The dormant virus in your body might cause the outbreak of cold sore to keep on reoccur when you are exposed to the condition that triggers the outbreak of this infection that includes stress, fatigue, cold weather, change of body hormones, and weakened immunity.

4. Oral Mucocele

An oral mucocele or mucous cyst is another factor that can lead to the formation of a sore under tongue surface. Oral mucocele can develop when salivary glands at the base of the mouth are damaged by an infection.

A mucous cyst under the tongue can rapture into open wounds that finally advance into painful sores or ulcer. This condition is common for infants, toddlers or young babies. Oral mucocele can also affect adult individuals under a rare condition.

An oral mucocele is a mild condition that can go away from your oral cavity after few days. The condition can be serious only when the sores on the mouth are infected by harmful bacteria or fungi that can cause pain.

5. Transient Lingual papillitis or Lie bumps

According to the structure of the tongue, the tongue surface has small normal bumps called papillae. The lower surface of the tongue has few or less papilla compared to upper surface that has numerous. This bump can develop into open sore under tongue when they are irritated by either taking spicy or acidic foods.

6. Fungal infection

Oral thrush is a known fungal or yeast infection that develops from the overgrowth of candida fungus in the oral cavity. The overgrowth of yeast infection may occur when bacteria that control their growth are compromised by taking strong antibiotics.

Oral thrush infection is associated with white patches that look like cheese, blisters that develop into sores and bad mouth taste or temporal loss of taste. The infection can be controlled by practicing good oral hygiene.

7. Oral cancer under the tongue

Oral cancer is a life-threatening infection that can show up on the tongue as chronic painless bumps that finally advance into painful sores on the affected area. This condition is characterized by sores that can easily bleed when something touches.

Early detection of oral cancer can be managed by medical treatment. Unfortunately, most cancer condition can be identified when they have already spread and damaged large area of the body tissue. it is advisable to seek the help of your doctor for diagnosis and treatment in case you notice any chronic sore on your tongue.

8. Allergic reaction

The sensitive mucous membrane that covers the inner tongue tissue can develop allergic reactions when exposed to a harsh substance that can cause irritation. Sore under the surface of the tongue might appear as the consequence of an allergic reaction.

Eating acidic, spicy food or poisonous substance can lead to oral irritation that can advance into open sores and blisters on the tongue surface. You can escape an allergic reaction on your tongue if you avoid foods, drinks or harsh substance that might irritate your tongue.

9. STD

Sore under tongue or in the entire mouth cavity can show up when you are infected with certain sexually transmitted infections. For instance, syphilis, genital herpes, oral herpes, and HIV virus can lead to various types of bumps and sore in the oral cavity.

10. Exostosis

Exostosis is an overgrowth of a large lump under the mouth base that occurs when extra bones protrude under the floor of the mouth below the tongue surface. This condition itself is harmless but it can lead to a sore under your tongue when the large lump gets irritation from the movement of food in the mouth during the chewing process.

11. Other causes

A sore under your tongue can also show up due to other condition such as leukoplakia and geographical tongue. Other underlying infection like diabetes, scarlet fever, and autoimmune disorders can also lead to the formation of ulcers under the tongue.

Pictures of Sore under Tongue

How do a sore under the tongue look like?  We have provided illustrative pictures of sores under the tongue surface in various section of this post to show you how it might look like for more visual understanding.

The pictures might have a slight difference from the actual view of your oral condition but you may use it to evaluate your oral condition. Nevertheless, you should not use these images for self-diagnosis and treatment without the guidance of a qualified doctor.



Canker Sore Under Tongue

Canker sore or aphthous ulcer inside the oral cavity is always associated with painful small ulcers on the affected area. Canker sore on mouth may appear as gray, white or yellow bumps surrounded by a red border.

Typically, the condition may occur on tongue surface, inside of lips, inside of cheeks, and on the throat. Sores under your tongue can also appear as a result of the outbreak of canker sore inside your oral cavity. The outbreak of this infection often occurs in women though it can affect anybody.

The outbreak of canker sore under the tongue and entire mouth cavity are triggered by a number of factors such as stress, fatigue, sudden change of body hormone, oral trauma, compromising immunity, and allergic reactions.

Canker sores under the tongue are a mild oral condition that might take few weeks to go away. However, if you notice that the condition is causing a lot of discomforts, you can go for medical treatment to speed up the healing process.

Cold Sore Under Tongue

Cold sore or fever blisters are small fluid-filled blisters that mostly show up on lips, inside the nose and outside of the oral cavity. In few occasion, they can also occur inside the mouth cavity including the undersurface of the tongue.

The outbreak of cold sore infection is caused by herpes simplex virus that is highly contagious. The virus can spread easily through direct skin contact with an infected person. The virus can also spread through kissing and sharing of one glass of water.

Cold sore infection may take few weeks to heal. Unfortunately, the virus may not be eliminated completely by body defense system and it can keep on causing the outbreak of cold sore to reoccur on your mouth.

Sore Under Tongue STD

If you notice a sore under the tongue after kissing or oral sex, it might be a symptom of the sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI).  The common STD’s that can lead to oral blisters and sore include syphilis, HIV, oral herpes, and genital herpes.

Genital herpes is a highly contagious infection that is caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). This infection may lead to painful fluid-filled blisters on the genital area as well as on the oral cavity including the undersurface of the tongue.

Syphilis is another chronic sexually transmitted infection that can lead to serious damage to the oral cavity with ulcers and bumps. The initial stage of syphilis is accompanied by various types of bumps on mouth cavity and on the genital area.

It is advisable to visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment in case you develop sore under your tongue after oral sex or kissing.


When sore under your tongue are likely to advance into more serious health problem, you can go for medical treatment by visiting your doctor. Your health provider will decide the appropriate method to diagnose and treat your oral condition.

Your doctor might use the following method to treat your oral condition:

  • Prescription of oral drugs to treat the infection that causes sore under your tongue surface
  • Injection that transfers medicinal drug into your blood system that can help in the healing of the mouth sore
  • Surgical treatment to remove chronic tumors and sores  under your tongue
  • Laser treatment that use the strong light waves to control chronic cancerous tissue under your tongue

Home remedies

You can use the following home remedies to get rid of mild sores under your tongue that include the following:

  1. Salt

You can you salt rinse as a home remedy that can help to get rid of sore under tongue. Salt solution has antiseptic abilities that can help in the healing of mouth sores. It can also ease inflammation and relieve pain in the affected area of the mouth with sores.

How to use:

  • Mix one teaspoon of salt into one glass of warm water
  • Swish the solution in your mouth for about 2 minutes before you spit it out
  • Alternatively, place the few salt crystals in the affected area of your tongue and allow it to stay there for few seconds before rinsing it off with warm water.
  • Repeat this treatment two times in a day for few weeks until bumps under tongue disappear
  1. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to heal sore at the base of the mouth under tongue surface.

How to use:

  • Mix ¼ glass of the apple cider vinegar with equal amount of water
  • Swish the solution in your mouth several times
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water
  • Repeat this procedure several times in a day as you can for few weeks
  1. Baking soda

Baking soda has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory abilities that can help to relieve itchy sores and inflammation under the surface of your tongue.

How to use:

  • Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one glass of warm water
  • Swish the solution around your mouth several times and spit it out
  • Rinse your mouth with cold water
  • Repeat this treatment three times in a day for few weeks until sore under the tongue go away
  1. Hydrogen peroxide solution

You can use hydrogen peroxide as a home remedy that can help in the healing of tongue sores. The reagent has antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help to facilitate the healing of mouth sores.

How to use:

  • Dilute 3% percent ½ glass of hydrogen peroxide with equal amount of water
  • Use the solution to swish your mouth several times
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water
  • Repeat this treatment several times in a day as you can
  1. Lemon juice and honey

Lemon juice and honey can help to initiate the process of healing of mouth sores. Lemon juice contains citric acid that has antiseptic properties while raw honey has anti-inflammatory property that can help to relieve painful sore under the tongue.

How to use:

  • Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of raw honey
  • Apply the mixture directly to the affected area of the tongue
  • rinse your mouth with cold water
  • repeat this treatment three times in a day for few weeks until sore under tongue goes away

When to See a Doctor

You can see a doctor over sores under the tongue when you notice the following:

  • when sore under your tongue has persisted for more than three weeks without any improvement
  • When sores under your tongues surface cause difficulties in eating and drinking
  • If sores under your tongue are characterized by hard bumps that can bleed easily when something touches
  • When sore under tongue is accompanied by storage signs and symptoms such as fever, headache or any other

Sources and References



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