Top Reasons Why Your Tongue Can Swell and Require Medical Attention

Why is My Tongue Swollen?

For humans to function well, the tongue is vital. Not only is it essential for tasting and swallowing food but also for talking to your heart’s content. Despite the vital roles it plays, nobody pays much attention to it except when it swells and seems too large for your mouth.

While many of the reasons are minor and get over automatically, there are some reasons when medical attention is important, especially if the condition persists more 10 or more days and is accompanied by other symptoms like pain, fever, and fatigue. Some common reasons for your tongue to swell up:


The tongue is soft tissue and is prone to trauma arising out of compulsive or accidental biting, rubbing against the sharp edges of teeth and from braces or rough filing, among other things.

Sharp, hot, or very spicy foods can also irritate the tongue and cause it to swell. While a permanent cure can be found by identifying the cause, the injury may be soothed by a painkiller, using a gentle mouthwash, drinking lots of fluids, or by simply sucking an ice cube.

Mouthwash Side Effect

Sometimes your tongue may react to an active ingredient in a mouthwash such as hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or baking soda that is found in toothpaste. The trick is to identify the cause and stop using it but if you are unable to find the culprit, you can visit your dermatologist who will conduct an allergy patch test using chemicals from a reputed manufacturer like MyBiosource, which is also a market leader in human Elisa test kits.

Allergic Reaction

When the immune system over-reacts to exposure to something, it reflects in an allergy. Common causes of an allergy are shellfish, fruits, nuts, milk, insect bites, etc. When an allergy is triggered, it causes the blood vessels to constrict and fluid accumulates in tissues like the tongue, lips, and face.


If the reaction is severe, it can restrict breathing and needs an immediate emergency response. Even certain medications, known as ACE-1 inhibitors, used for blood pressure management can cause potentially life-threatening situations at a random time during therapy. Other anti-inflammatory medicines and antibiotics can also cause allergies.

Vitamin Deficiency

You can get a red swollen tongue as well as experience fatigue, weakness, and tingling sensation in the hands and feet due to lack of vitamin B12 and folate. Increasing your intake of foods like leafy greens, meat, eggs, fish, lentils, beans, etc. can bring relief, however, in severe cases, doctors may need to investigate the actual reasons and prescribe supplements and dietary modifications.

Acid reflux

Frequent incidents of acid reflux may end up irritating the throat and tongue and in addition to the usual symptoms like an acidic or bitter taste, burning sensation in the throat, etc. can cause the tongue to also swell. Making changes to what you eat and eating smaller meals more frequently, as well as taking antacids can bring relief.


A swollen tongue can be a major irritation and depending on the severity be also life-threatening. The reason for tongues to swell up care varied but typically, the symptom is a result of allergies, reactions, injuries or infections, which may need to be referred to a doctor if it persists.

Walter Moore is a health expert who has been running many health seminars and public discussions. He also manages his blog and reviews the health-related details provided by authentic sources.

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