Your tongue is not considered as the strongest muscle of the body for no reason. It’s something that you need or use for a variety of tasks — from enjoying food, talking to kissing passionately. And that’s why having a swollen tongue can keep you from having a normal day. In some instances, it can also put your life in danger.
Since there are many different reasons why your tongue can get swollen, treatments for it vary tremendously. Below you will learn about some of the common causes of tongue swelling, as well as the corresponding medical treatments and home remedies, if available, proven effective for the problem.
One of the most common culprits behind the swelling of the tongue is direct trauma to it. There are various things that can injure your tongue and ultimately leave it swelling.
Drinking very hot beverages such as coffee and tea can scald the tongue, causing it to be painful and larger than usual. It’s also something that can considerably diminish the ability of the tongue to perceive or distinguish various tastes. Clearly, it’s a good idea to refrain from drinking piping hot beverages to keep the tongue out of harm’s way.
Individuals who engage in sports are at risk of having swollen tongue because impact to the face or mouth can cause accidental biting of the tongue.
Sucking on ice chips and opting for a liquid, bland (to prevent excessive saliva production) or soft diet can be helpful. It’s also a good idea to maintain good oral hygiene to ward off complications.
These days, another very common or popular cause of trauma to the tongue is piercing. It’s not unlikely for the tongue to become painful and inflamed upon being pierced. Especially if the person who does the piercing is inexperienced or proper sanitary practices are skipped, then it’s very much likely for the tongue to end up swollen.
Medical experts say that tongue swelling can also be due to strep infections. No matter the cause of the infection, seeking the help of a doctor should be done. To help control the infection and keep it from spreading to the throat, which can be life-threatening, antibiotics have to be taken.
Certain types of allergies can cause the tongue to end up swollen. In some cases, it has to be taken so seriously because it’s very much possible for the reaction to spread to the throat, causing problems with breathing. Needless to say, it’s something that requires medical attention to keep the person’s life away from danger.
Staying away from foods that can cause allergies is important to prevent the tongue from swelling. It’s important for the individual to identify triggers so that he or she may keep allergic reactions at bay.
Smoking and Drinking
Both cigarette smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol can irritate the tongue. In some cases, the tongue may end up inflamed and painful. Needless to say, the only solution for it is to have bad habits behind it eliminated.
Giving up smoking not only helps keep at bay swelling of the tongue, but also prevents a bunch of other issues that involve the mouth. Some of them include discoloration of the teeth and gums, as well as bad breath. Keeping the consumption of alcohol to a minimum actually offers a number of health benefits, experts say.
Did you know that cigarette smoking and alcoholism may increase your risk of having various types of cancer, including that of the mouth? Certainly, oral cancer is something that can leave your body’s strongest muscle swollen.
Certain disorders concerning the blood can also leave the tongue larger than usual. One of them is leukemia, which is cancer of the bone marrow that produces blood cells. Leukemia can prevent the normal production of blood cells, leading to a variety of problems including anemia.
Speaking of which, anemia can also cause swelling of the tongue. Sometimes it can be reversed by including iron-rich foods in the everyday diet (beef, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, dried fruits, fortified food products) or the intake of iron supplements. There are cases in which a more intensive treatment approach is warranted.