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Mouth Diseases

Sore Tongue Tip and Lips

04/14/2010

Question:

I have for the past 9 months had a very sore tongue tip, it comes and goes, perhaps lasting 7/14 days, disappears for a few days then returns.

There is nothing to see for a time then the tip looks very red and and inflamed and very sore, although eating and chewing food does not seem to increase the pain and sometimes seems to soothe it. There are no bumps and it is still soft to the touch [no hard bits]. Associated with this I have soreness in the roof of my mouth and very sore lips top and bottom especially the edges [lips to face on outside], some times also have blood blisters.

The Doctor has tried antibiotics, steroid tablet that dissolved on the area also anti-fungal solution but all to no avail.

Now getting desperate after all this time, any help would be welcome.

I am based in the UK.

Thanks.

Answer:

Without being able to examine your tongue personally, the description you give suggests the possibility that you may be rubbing the tip of your tongue against your front teeth. This could be a conscious or a subconscious habit, but may be related to the "soreness" you are experiencing. Assuming the soreness comes first, rubbing or scraping your tongue in this way is similar to rubbing a bruised spot on your arm. It hurts a bit and feels good at the same time. Much like what you mentioned with eating food.

Given the absence of other findings and the lack of response to anti-fungal medication, I think you may have developed the condition known as burning tongue syndrome (burning mouth syndrome). You can find additional information about this relatively common condition at the links below. I hope that you will find it helpful in managing your episodic tongue discomfort.

Good luck!

Related Resources:

Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning Mouth Syndrome (AAOMP)

For more information:

Go to the Mouth Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University