Ulcer on Tongue, Tip, Under, Side, Back, Pictures, Causes, Get Rid, Treatment & Home Remedies

Ulcer o tongue appears like sores that do not heal easily. However, depending on the causes, the sores can disappear on their own or after treatment. But what causes ulcer on the tongue? Is it contagious? Explore the signs and symptoms of ulcer on tongue, including their pictures. Learn how you can get rid of them using treatment and home remedies.

What Is Ulcer on Tongue

Ulcer on tongue refers to open sore or sores on tongue that lasts for some time or does not heal easily. It can be located at the tip of the tongue, on back of tongue, on side of tongue or under the tongue.

Signs and Symptoms of Ulcer on Tongue

Ulcer on tongue consists of sores or painful bumps that appear on your tongue. These ulcers can be major or minor depending on their causes.  Minor ulcers cannot be bothersome to you because they last few days in your mouth. Major ulcers can cause complication that can lead to a health problem.

An ulcer on the tongue has various signs and symptom that includes the following:

  • Small or tiny oval shaped sores on the surface of the tongue.
  • Large and irregular shaped sores that persist on the tongue.
  • Pinpoint size bumps that clusters on tongue surface.
  • Painful open sores that appear on the surface tongue.
  • A hard bump and painless sore on side or back of the tongue.
  • Red, soft bumps and inflammation on tip of the tongue.
  • Fluid-filled blisters under the tongue.

Tongue ulcer can also accompany other symptoms like fever, sore throat and, headache.

Causes of Ulcer on Tongue

What can be the causes of an ulcer on tongue? This is a common question that strikes your mind when you develop ulceration on your tongue. It is clear that an ulcer on tongue cannot develop without a causal agent.

The following are common causes of an ulcer on tongue:

1. Canker sores

Canker sores are a common cause of ulcers on tongue. Canker sores are tiny painful lesions that are characterized by the white center with a red border. The canker sores usually appear on the tongue, inside of cheeks, and on gums. The canker sores can also spread to your lips although it is not contagious.

Ulcer on tongue - canker sore
Canker sore on tongue

The main causes of canker sores in the mouth are unknown but the canker sores are attributed to be triggered by some predisposing factors such as body stress, hormone fluctuation, and trauma. Medical doctors usually associate canker sores with a weakened immune system.

2. Cold sores

Cold sore infection can also cause an ulcer on the tongue. These are painful fluid-filled blisters that are red in color and appear on the tongue. Other than affecting your tongue, the sores can also appear on the lip, inside the nose, and on the cheek.

Cold sore is highly contagious and it can spread to different people within a short time. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1(HSV-1).commonly known as oral herpes because it results to oral ulcers.

When your body has a weakened immune system, ulcer on tongue can be a common mouth problem that might keep on reoccurring to you. Herpes virus can stay in your body system for a relatively long duration in a dormant state. The virus can cause an ulcer on tongue when they get activated by some factors like stress and trauma.

3. Oral thrush

This is a fungal infection that is caused by candida albicans. Oral thrush can result to the development of white spots and ulcer on tongue. Oral thrush can be called a yeast infection. The yeast in the mouth develops to the white coating on the tongue that causes open sores and ulcers on tongue.

Ulcer on tongue - oral thrush
Oral thrush on tongue

Oral thrush is a common mouth problem to infants and toddlers. Baby tongue usually develops white bumps that form tongue ulceration. Other parts of the mouth such as gums and an inner layer of cheeks might also get affected by oral thrush.

Oral thrush is not a serious health problem because Candida albicans stay in the mouth of everybody but in a small colony. It only becomes a problem to you when the fungus grows in large number than normal, fortunately, you can manage oral thrush through a proper mouth hygiene practices.

4. Injury on tongue

Having an injury on your tongue can cause the formation of an ulcer on the tongue. Injuries on the tongue can result from dental work, brushing your teeth roughly and from biting your tongue. Playing with sharp objects on the mouth can also cause some injury on your tongue.

An injury on the tongue might develop into an open sore after bacterial infection. Sometimes, your tongue can develop ulcers when the sores get irritated from salty and acidic food. Ulcer on tongue is not a health-threatening problem. They can disappear within a period five to ten days.

5. Food sensitivity

Food intake is very important to our health however, it can cause an ulcer on tongue but how? For the sensitivity of the tongue, the skin of the tongue can react with foodstuffs and develop sores. These means that your body system can reject some kinds of food you eat.

Some people develop mouth ulcers after eating foods such green vegetable and fruits. Fresh strawberries, guavas, tomatoes, and mangoes can cause mouth ulcer to same individuals. In addition, spicy and acidic foods can also cause ulcers to appear on your tongue.

6. Chemical sensitivity

Your tongue is the most sensitive part of your body. Apart from tasting the food, it can also be sensitive to other chemicals. Some brands of mouthwash and toothpaste contain some chemical component like sodium lauryl sulfate that can lead to tongue ulceration. Use of inorganic chemicals to clean your mouth is effective to keep your mouth fresh and clean. Despite being useful to you, they can cause an ulcer on tongue.

Putting household chemical into the mouth can also lead to the formation of sores. Eating a detergent or a disinfectant can burn the skin of the tongue resulting in the formation of painful ulcers on tongue.

7. Allergy reaction

Your tongue is made up of delicate tissue that can be affected by allergy reaction in the body. Allergies in the body can cause ulcers to appear on your tongue. For instance, eating raw foods like tubers of potatoes and yams can cause a serious tongue damage that can lead to tongue ulceration.

The presence of strange bacteria in the mouth can also lead to allergy reaction that might be revealed through the development of ulcer on tongue.

8. Immune conditions

Your body immune system plays a very important role to protect your body against other infection. However, the immune system can also fight against its body cell that can result to a serious health condition known as autoimmune disease. Ulcer on tongue is one of the signs of immune disorder. But keep in mind that we have also other causes of tongue ulceration and stop worrying more.

Poor immune system is another health problem that can lead to opportunistic diseases to attack your mouth and cause the development of sores or ulcer on tongue. An example of this opportunistic infection includes pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that can cause mouth sores.

9. Tongue cancer

Precancerous and cancer conditions in your mouth can cause patches on tongue that might bleed and cause open sores. Oral cancer can affect tongue tissue and result to a lesion that can cause ulcers in the mouth. Tongue cancer can develop as a result of taking carcinogenic products into your body system.

Ulcer on tongue - oral or mouth cancer
Oral cancer on tongue

Oral cancer is also caused by a papilloma virus. The virus is attributed to be the main cause of oral cancer because it lives in the oral tumors.

10. Lichen planus

These are white patches on tongue. Occasionally, it appears as shiny bumps on the surface of the tongue. Lichen planus can result to tongue ulcer. If your tongue has minor patches of lichen planus, no need to visit health provider for treatment. Small patches usually clear up within a period of few days.

Ulcer on tongue - oral lichen planus
Oral lichen planus on tongue

Lichen planus can cause painful ulcers on your tongue that need a medical diagnosis because they might be precursors of oral cancer.

11. Deficiency of nutrients

Nutrients deficiency in the body system can result to mouth ulcers including the tongue. Lack of vitamin B-12, iron, zinc, folic acid, and calcium can result in the development of sores or ulcer on the tongue. Protein intake is also important in growth and repair of tissues.

Poor nutrition can make your body more prone to other infections such as canker sores and cold sores to attack your mouth.

Ulcer on Tongue Pictures (Images)

We have inserted in this post clear pictures that illustrate how on tongue looks like. Because ulcer on tongue can have different appearances, we have includes a variety of pictures or images, including those on to and under tongue.

Pictures of tongue ulcers can also help you to make a comparison between different conditions you suspect to be an ulcer on tongue and the one shown in the pictures. Through this comparison, you can evaluate your oral health and determine if your tongue has a problem.

Ulcer on Tip of Tongue

Can an ulcer develop at the tip of the tongue? Yes, you can develop an ulcer at a very tip of your tongue. Having an ulcer at the tip of the tongue can be too painful because the tip of the tongue has more nerves for sensitivity and taste buds. Ulcer at the tip can result in loss of taste and make it difficult in talking due to excess stimulation of salivation.

Ulcer on tip of the tongue can develop from a physical injury caused by biting yourselves. It is normal to bite your tongue on tip once in a while. Damaging your tongue by teeth during chewing can cause a sore that develops to an ulcer on tip of the tongue.

Playing with a sharp object can also cause physical damage at the tip of your tongue. Sharp objects like toothpicks or needles can result to wound on tip of the tongue. A small injury on tongue tip can get irritation from salty food or acidic food and develop to ulcers on tongue.

Occasionally, you can get an ulcer on tongue that can spread to the tip of your tongue and this is a clear symptom of a serious medical condition that needs to be addressed to your doctor.

Ulcer on Side of Tongue

Mouth ulcer can also appear on the side of the tongue. Unlike ulcers on tip of the tongue, having a minor sore on side of the tongue can be less hurting and appear to be a small issue to you. However, this should not be ignored because it might be a mouth infection that can advance to a serious mouth problem.

Ulcer on side of the tongue can arise when having a general tongue disease like a fungal or viral attack. Cold sores and canker sores can affect the side of your tongue. For the case of canker sores, ulcers may appear not only on the side of the tongue but also on the other parts of the mouth such as lips and gums.

For few occasion, ulcers on side of the tongue can develop into a complication that needs to be addressed to your doctor. For instance, Precancerous conditions can develop and affect the sides of the tongue.

Ulcer Under Tongue

Having an ulcer under your tongue can be more nuisances to you especially when it hurts. The presence of a sore or an ulcer under the tongue can cause a discomfort due to irritation of sores. Ulcer under your tongue might not prevent you from chewing although they can cause difficulty in talking.

Ulcer under tongue - leukoplakia
Leukoplakia under tongue

Ulcer under the tongue can come after taking a hot drink or eating acidic food that burns the skin of the mouth skin resulting to ulcers under the tongue. Other infections like canker sores, leukoplakia and lichen planus can result in the formation of an ulcer on tongue.

Other causes that encourage ulcer under the tongue are allergies, tobacco products, poor nutrition and weakened body defense mechanism.

Treatment for Ulcer on Tongue

For minor ulcer on tongue, no need to go for treatment, they usually clear up within a couple of weeks. Minor sores on the mouth are a common problem that affects many people and you should not worry more about them although they might cause a discomfort to you.

If you realize your mouth has a health complication that arises from major sores that cause more pain to your, for these case, you need to get a medical consultation about your health condition,

Treatment is the best option you can go for to cure ulcer on your mouth. Treatment of mouth sores will help relieve pain and irritation that cause a discomfort. Is ulcers on the mouth are worsening, is advisable to visit your doctor for medical treatment.

After visiting your doctor, he or she will determine the main cause of an ulcer in your mouth and decide the type of diagnosis to give you. Oral medications and antimicrobial drugs can be prescribed to you by your doctor that can help to cure mouth ulcers.

Home Remedies for Ulcer on Tongue

When you are not willing to visit your doctor, you can alternatively go for home remedies that can help you to get rid of ulcers on tongue. These home remedies include:

1. Salt

Salt solution can be used as home remedies to get rid of an ulcer on tongue. Salt has the ability to kill bacteria and fungus that causes ulcers in the mouth. Salt rinse can also help to dry up ulcers by drawing water from affected cells on the tongue. For ulcers that develop from canker sores and oral thrush, salt rinse is the best treatment to apply

How to use:

  • Get one glass of warm water and add one teaspoon of salt.
  • Swish salt water in your mouth four times per day
  • Repeat the same treatment until an ulcer on tongue disappears completely.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has medicinal value and healing ability that can be used for the treatment of ulcers in the mouth. It has an anti-inflammatory ability that helps in reducing burning sensation on the tongue.

Aloe vera
Aloe vera

How to prepare:

  • Get some fresh leaves of Aloe Vera and extract the gel from by spitting the leaves.
  • Apply the extracted gel on the affected tongue with ulcers directly four times per day.
  • Repeat these until ulcer on tongue goes

3. Baking soda

Baking soda can be a good treatment to use as a home remedy for ulcers on tongue. The reagent has anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve pain caused by ulcers in the mouth.

Baking soda
Baking soda

How to use:

  • Get one teaspoon of baking soda and mix with few drops of water to create a paste.
  • Apply the paste on the tongue.
  • Rinse your mouth with clean warm water.
  • Apply the same treatment three times a day until ulcers in your mouth go

4. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has antiseptic properties that can kill bacteria and fungus in the mouth. It also reduces pain and inflammation of sores on the tongue.

To use:

  • Get a small amount of three percent hydrogen peroxide and dilute it using an equal amount of water.
  • Swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds.
  • Spit out the solution.
  • Get clean water and rinse your mouth.
  • Repeat the same treatment many times you can for few days until ulcer on tongue dry up.

5. Coconut oil

You can use coconut oil at home to provide faster relive of painful inflammation on tongue caused by ulcers. The oil has an antimicrobial property that kills bacteria and fungus in the mouth.

How to use:

  • Get a small amount of coconut oil and apply it directly on the affected tongue using a cotton
  • Apply the oil three times per day until ulcers disappear on your tongue.

When to See a Doctor Over Ulcer on Tongue

It is advisable to see a doctor over the ulcer on the tongue if you develop the following conditions:

  • When there are sores on the tongue that takes more than three weeks before they go away.
  • When home remedies fail to help in the treatment of tongue ulcer.
  • If ulcers are spreading from tongue to other parts of the mouth including lips.
  • When ulcers on tongue make it difficult to eat or talk.
  • If sores on tongue result in
  • If sores are growing big in size than normal.
  • When bumps on the tongue are painless and are dominating the whole mouth.
  • When you develop strange symptoms like fever, diarrhea, headache and weight loss.

Sources and References

  1. Signs and symptoms of ulcer on tongue: http://www.healthline.com/symptom/mouth-ulcers
  2. Cause of ulcers on tongue: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/tongue-ulcers-causes-treatments/
  3. Ulcers on tongue pictures (images): http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-mouth-problems
  4. Ulcers on tip of the tongue: http://www.tandurust.com/oral-care/sore-tip-of-tongue-remedies.html
  5. Ulcer on side of tongue: https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_health/1528566-Mouth-ulcers-on-the-side-of-my-tongue
  6. Ulcers under the tongue: http://www.healtharticles101.com/ulcer-under-tongue-what-to-do/
  7. Treatment of tongue ulcers: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/mouth-sores-and-infections/article/tongue-blisters-types-treatment-1215
  8. Treatment of ulcer on tongue: http://www.webmd.boots.com/oral-health/guide/mouth-ulcers
  9. Home remedies for ulcers on tongue: http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-mouth-ulcers.html
  10. When to see a doctor over ulcer on tongue: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/tongue-ulcers-causes-treatments/,


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