The treatments for tingling tongue include the use of a food diary, as well as a dietitian or nutritionist, checking for side effects of medication, avoiding fish with heavy metal poisoning, avoiding infections, keeping tabs of nutritional deficiencies and excesses, among others.
A tingling tongue usually indicates a neurological disease or syndrome. It could be caused by a lesion or disease that negatively impacts the nerves without causing any pain, just sensory imbalances like prickling or tingling. When the symptoms are not painful, they are called:
- Paresthesia: This is mild in nature and not very unpleasant.
- Dysesthesia: This is extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant.
These terms are difficult to define as what causes discomfort for one may not be so for another. While tingling isn’t painful, it is important to treat it as one of the markers of neuropathic pain.
Treatments of Tingling Tongue
Tingling tongue can have various causes, here are some causes and their respective treatments:
Oral Allergy Syndrome
Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is also called pollen-food syndrome and occurs due to an immune response to a given food. Treatment involves antihistamines and the avoidance of the raw form of foods that cause the reaction. The use of a food diary, as well as a dietitian or nutritionist, can be helpful to identify foods that are safe for consumption, how to prepare them, and to minimize the risk of allergen exposure.
Certain medications may cause a numb or tingling tongue as a side effect. It is always advisable to carefully check the packaging and review possible reactions with your medical practitioner. If the tingling persists for days after starting a new medication, it is highly recommended to discuss with your doctor.
Paresthesia of the tongue can be caused by both natural and artificial toxins. There is no effective treatment for such toxins. It is best to be aware of the different kinds of fish that can cause heavy metal intoxication and avoid them.
Local Anesthesia in Dental Surgery
Anesthetics used for dental procedures like a root canal and dental implants can cause temporary tingling or numbness. Only in certain cases would tingling be due to nerve damage, which is more permanent in nature. Treatment depends on the complaint and nerve damage but can involve topical analgesics or NMDA-receptor antagonists.
Very hot or very cold foods, biting the tongue, blows to the face or getting your tongue pierced can cause temporary tingling. Nerve receptors and small tissues of the tongue can get inflamed and it may go away with time. If the tingling is continuous and persistent, it’s best to consult a medical professional to check for nerve damage.
Disease and Infection
If you have pierced your tongue or accidentally bitten it, chances are that it can get infected if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene and result in tingling. Different viral infections and other conditions such as burning mouth syndrome, lingual neurofibroma, transient ischemic attack (TIA), migraine, can all cause this problem. It is best to treat the underlying medical condition to get permanent relief.