8 Best Treatments for Tingling Tongue

by Vanya Sharma last updated - Medically reviewed by Tamanna Sayed (B.Sc. Applied Nutrition)

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The treatments for tingling tongue include maintaining a food diary, seeking advice from a certified dietician or a nutritionist, checking for side effects of any medication, avoiding consumption of fish with heavy metal poisoning, keeping a tab of nutritional deficiencies and excesses, amongst the 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 to what causes discomfort and whether one symptom may be accounted 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

Some of the common causes and the respective treatments of the tingling tongue are as follows:

Oral Allergy Syndrome

Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is also called pollen-food syndrome and occurs due to an immune response to a given food. People who have (OAS) are allergic to plant pollens. Many foods contain proteins that are similar to these pollens. Hence the immune system can mistake these proteins for the plant pollens that caused the allergy. Treatment involves antihistamines and the avoidance of the raw form of foods that cause the reaction. Cooking or baking the foods may also help in degrading the protein and thereby eliminating the cross-reaction. Prefer peeling the fruit as the protein is often concentrated in the skin. 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.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

One of the primary causes of the tingling tongue could be Raynaud’s phenomenon, a disorder that commonly affects the blood flow to your fingers, toes but also often to your lips and tongue. In primary Raynaud’s phenomenon, the blood flow to the tongue is temporarily reduced as a result of which it may appear blue or very pale. In addition, your tongue may tingle for a short time during or after the episode.

The symptoms may subside if you drink warm liquids or adopt ways to relieve your stress. It’s important to distinguish between Primary Raynaud’s phenomenon from secondary phenomenon as the latter is a related disorder that could be often caused by an underlying health problem with the immune system for e.g. lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma. If you notice color changes in your tongue that are temporary, share the pictures with your doctor so that a diagnosis can be confirmed and you can seek medical attention.

Medication

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 it with your doctor.

Toxins

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.

Trauma

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, multiple sclerosis, 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.

Nutrient Deficiencies

One must get tested to check for deficiency or excess of vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, iron, zinc, and calcium. Low levels of vitamin B12 can make your tongue sore and swollen and also alter your taste. You might experience a tingling sensation in the tongue and in your hands and feet. Vitamin B12 deficiency may be either caused by a lack of vitamins in your diet or an inability to absorb these vitamins from the food. As we age, the stomach becomes less acidic hindering the absorption of vitamin B12. However, the vitamin B12 found in vitamin supplements can continue to be well absorbed even in people with decreased stomach acid.

Good sources of vitamin B12 include eggs, meat, fish and dairy. Vegans need to include fortified foods like soy or soy milk, cereals, grains or supplements.

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About the Author

Vanya Sharma handles the medical expert collaboration for Organic Facts. She is also responsible for the website’s monthly newsletter and website content and contributes to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube regularly. A writer at heart, she joined the website while she was still pursuing her English Literature degree from IGNOU, Delhi, India. Vanya has completed the “Introduction to Food and Health” certificate program from Stanford University, US. She aims to bring unbiased and helpful information to all those seeking to make their health and lifestyle a priority.

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