Mouth or tongue pain

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Mouth or tongue pain refers to pain or discomfort in any of the structures inside a person’s mouth. Pain may target the gums, teeth, tongue, cheeks or throat depending on the cause.

A person with mouth or tongue pain may experience sore throat, swollen tonsils, dental pain, and drainage from tonsils, tongue or mouth lesions, and swollen glands in the neck or mouth ulcers. People may also experience additional symptoms such as facial swelling or facial tenderness, facial pain, tongue swelling, gum swelling mouth swelling, difficulty swallowing or opening the mouth, gum redness and difficulty breathing.

If you report your condition to your health care provider he may choose the required treatment measures depending on the cause of the problem. General treatment for mouth and tongue pain may include antiseptic mouth painmouthwash, saline solution gargles, vitamin supplements, antiviral medications, antibiotic medications, regular dental cleaning, proper oral hygiene and pain medication to resolve pain.

Disclaimer: this post on mouth or tongue pain is for learning purposes only. To learn more about infections, swelling, bleeding and fever’s register for a first aid and CPR course through a St Mark James training provider.

Causes of mouth or tongue pain

  • Dental abscess
  • Aphthous ulcers
  • Gingivitis
  • Glossitis
  • Facial injury
  • Mouth or tongue injury
  • Dental injury
  • Ludwig’s angina
  • Laryngeal tumor
  • Mouth cancer
  • TMJ disease
  • Oral foreign body
  • Oral thrush
  • Strep throat
  • Viral pharyngitis
  • Poorly fitted dentures
  • Vincent’s stomatitis

Signs and symptoms of mouth or tongue pain

Signs and symptoms of mouth or tongue pain include:

  • Dental pain
  • Sore throat
  • Red, inflamed tonsils – white pus on tonsils
  • Mouth or tongue ulcers
  • Severe swelling of the tonsils – on one side of the throat
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Facial swelling or facial tenderness
  • Mouth swelling
  • Tongue swelling
  • Gum inflammation and redness
  • Mouth or tongue lesions
  • Swelling under the tongue
  • Swelling under the chin
  • White coating on the throat
  • White coating on the tongue
  • While coloration around the lining of the mouth
  • Difficulty opening the mouth widely
  • Inability to close the mouth
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing


Treatment for mouth and tongue pain is administered depending on the cause of the condition. General treatment may include saline mouthwash, antibiotics, antiviral medication, proper oral hygiene and pain medication.

Treat mouth or tongue pain with the following:

  • Gargle with antacid
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Gargle at least thrice a day with saltwater
  • Drink cold fluids
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to resolve pain
  • Checkup with your dentist regularly and consider regular professional dental cleaning
  • Follow a proper oral hygiene – brush after every meal, brush before bedtime, floss every day
  • Take antibiotic or antiviral medication as prescribed by your dentist

Home care

  • Avoid salty foods
  • Follow a soft diet
  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Drink plenty of cold fluids
  • Take oral numbing medication
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication or acetaminophen for pain
  • Take medication as prescribed by your dentist and avoid skipping doses

 Learn More

Learn more about mouth, tongue pain, bleeding and infections by signing up for first aid and CPR training with a St Mark James training provider.

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