Causes, symptoms and treatments of lingual infection. Learn to identify and treat this uncomfortable medical condition.

Causes, symptoms and treatments of lingual infection. Learn to identify and treat this uncomfortable medical condition.

The language, a vital organ of the oral cavity, is susceptible to various infections that can cause discomfort and affect general health. Language infections may be due to various factors, such as deficient oral hygiene practices, a weakened immune system or certain medical conditions. Understanding the causes, symptoms and treatment options of lingual infections is crucial to maintain oral health and prevent subsequent complications.

The most common type of infection that affects language is oral candidiasis. This fungal infection is caused by excessive growth of Candida Albicans, a fungus similar to yeast that is normally present in the mouth. People with a weakened immune system, such as those suffering from diabetes or HIV/AIDS, are more likely to develop oral candidiasis. A poor oral hygiene, the use of antibiotics or the use of dental prostheses that are not cleaned regularly can also increase the risk of infection.

The most common symptoms of a language infection are:

  • White spots or a white layer in the tongue
  • Redness, inflammation or pain
  • Pain or discomfort when eating or swallowing
  • Loss of taste or alteration of the perception of taste

Treatment options for lingual infections

  1. Antifungal medications: In case of oral candidiasis, medications such as clotrimazole, fluconazole or nistatin can be prescribed to eliminate fungal infection.
  2. Improving oral hygiene: maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing of teeth and tongue, can help prevent and control lingual infections.
  3. Control underlying health problems: if a committed immune system or certain medical conditions contribute to language infection, it is important to control and treat these conditions to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Infection on Tongue: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


  1. Bad oral hygiene: neglecting adequate oral care, such as regular brushing and tooth thread, can lead to excessive growth of bacteria in the mouth, including tongue.
  2. Injuries or trauma: accidental bites, tongue piercings or other forms of language injury can create an entry point for microorganisms causing infections.
  3. Weak immune system: People with a weakened immune system, whether due to certain medical conditions or medications, are more susceptible to tongue infections.

Note: Maintaining good oral hygiene practices and avoiding tongue injuries can help prevent tongue infections.


  • Pain and discomfort: Tongue infections often cause pain and irritation on the tongue, making it difficult to eat or speak.
  • Swelling and redness: Swelling and redness of the tongue can be a prominent symptom of an infection.
  • White spots: Certain infections, such as oral candidiasis, can cause white spots or patches to appear on the tongue.

Common Causes of Tongue Infections

1. Oral thrush: Oral thrush, also known as candidiasis, is a fungal infection that can affect the tongue. It is caused by an excessive growth of the Candida fungus, naturally present in the mouth. Factors such as a weakened immune system, poor oral hygiene, or prolonged use of antibiotics can contribute to the development of oral thrush. Symptoms may include white spots or plaques on the tongue, accompanied by a burning sensation or discomfort.

Tongue infection: Candidiasis, commonly known as oral thrush, is a fungal infection that affects the tongue. It occurs due to the overgrowth of the Candida fungus in the mouth, often triggered by factors such as a weakened immune system or prolonged use of antibiotics.

2. Bacterial infections: Bacterial infections can also cause tongue infections. A common type is glossitis, which is inflammation of the tongue caused by bacteria. Poor oral hygiene, tongue piercings, or consuming contaminated food or drink can increase the risk of bacterial infections. Symptoms may include a red, swollen tongue and pain or tenderness.

  1. Tongue infections can be caused by fungi or bacteria, as well as certain health problems or lifestyle factors.
  2. Oral candidiasis is a fungal infection characterized by white spots or plaques on the tongue.
  3. Bacterial infections, such as glossitis, can also cause tongue infections.

Table: Common causes of tongue infections

Cause Description
Oral thrush Fungal infection caused by the overgrowth of the Candida fungus in the mouth.
Bacterial infections Infections caused by bacteria, including glossitis.

Recognizing the Symptoms of a Tongue Infection

  • Swelling: One of the key indicators of a lingual infection is swelling. The tongue may seem bigger than usual and, sometimes, it can even obstruct the airways, causing difficulty breathing. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if a serious swelling of the tongue is experienced.
  • Pain and discomfort: lingual infections usually cause important pain and discomfort. The affected area can be sensitive and sore, and it can be difficult to speak, eat or swallow. The degree of pain can vary depending on the seriousness of the infection.
  • Appearance changes: An infected language can show various visual changes. The language may appear red and inflamed, with bumps or visible sores. In some cases, a white or yellow layer may appear on the surface of the tongue.
  1. Difficulty in taste: another symptom of a lingual infection is the loss or alteration of taste. Patients may notice a decrease in the ability to taste flavors or experience a metal or bitter sensation.
  2. Bad breath: lingual infections can also cause persistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. This is usually due to the accumulation of bacteria or fungi in the infected language.
  3. Difficulty moving the tongue: in some cases, a lingual infection can restrict the movement of the language. Patients may be difficult to get their tongue, move it from one place to another or perform other normal lingual movements.

It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms can also be indicative of other oral health problems. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional to obtain a precise diagnosis and proper treatment. Early detection and intervention can help prevent complications and relieve discomfort associated with lingual infections.

Different Types of Tongue Infections

1. Oral candidiasis: Oral candidiasis is a frequent fungal infection that can affect the language. It is caused by excessive growth of the Candida fungus, which resides naturally in the mouth. This infection can cause white spots or a hairy layer in the tongue, along with discomfort and loss of sense of taste. Oral candidiasis is more frequent in people with a weakened immune system, such as those suffering from HIV/AIDS or diabetes.

Important information:

  • Oral candidiasis is caused by excessive growth of the Candida fungus.
  • It can lead to stains or white layers in the tongue.
  • People with weakened immune systems are more prone to oral candidiasis.

2. Geographic tongue: Geographic tongue, also called benign migratory glossitis, is a harmless condition characterized by irregular spots on the surface of the tongue. These spots may appear as smooth red areas surrounded by a white border, giving the tongue a map-like appearance. The exact cause of geographic tongue is unknown, but it is believed to be associated with stress, hormonal changes, or certain dietary factors. Although it does not usually cause pain or discomfort, some people may experience tenderness or a burning sensation in the affected areas.

Important information:

  • Geographic tongue is characterized by the appearance of irregular spots on the surface of the tongue.
  • These spots have a smooth, red center with a white border.
  • Its exact cause is unclear, but it may be related to stress and dietary factors.

3. Glossitis: Glossitis refers to inflammation of the tongue, which can be caused by multiple factors, such as infections, allergies or trauma. This condition can result in a swollen, red, and smooth appearance of the tongue. Glossitis can cause discomfort and make it difficult to speak or eat. It is important to identify and treat the underlying cause of glossitis to treat it effectively.

Important information:

  • Glossitis is inflammation of the tongue.
  • It can cause the tongue to appear swollen, red, and smooth.
  • The underlying cause of glossitis must be determined for appropriate treatment.

Oral Hygiene Practices to Prevent Tongue Infections

1. Brush your tongue regularly: Daily tongue brushing should be part of your oral hygiene routine. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush the surface of your tongue in a back-and-forth motion to remove bacteria, food particles, and accumulated debris. Pay special attention to the back of the tongue, where most bacteria tend to reside.

Tip: Consider using a tongue cleaner or scraper to effectively remove bacteria and debris buildup from the surface of your tongue.

2. Practice proper tongue cleaning techniques: Along with regular tongue brushing, it is important to incorporate proper tongue cleaning techniques into your oral hygiene routine. This may involve using antimicrobial mouthwashes or rinsing your mouth with a saltwater solution to help reduce the bacterial load on the tongue.

  1. Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash: Choose a mouthwash that contains antimicrobial properties, such as chlorhexidine, to help eliminate harmful bacteria and prevent tongue infections.
  2. Rinse your tongue with salt water: dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargar you with this mixture for 30 seconds, concentrating on covering your tongue and then lift it. Salted water rinses favor healing and can help prevent tongue infections.

3. Keep a balanced diet: your diet plays a crucial role in the prevention of lingual infections. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary and very processed foods, since they can contribute to bacterial growth in the oral cavity. Instead, give priority to a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

Beneficial foods Foods that should be limited
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Low fat products in fat
  • Lean meats
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy fats (eg, avocados, nuts)
  • Sugary snacks and drinks
  • Processed foods
  • Energy drinks and drinks
  • Very acidic foods (eg, citrus)
  • Alcohol in excess

Medical Treatment Options for Tongue Infections

Antibiotics: One of the most common medical treatment options for language infections is the use of antibiotics. These medications help fight bacterial infections that may be causing lingual infection. The type of prescribed antibiotic will depend on the seriousness of the infection and specific bacteria involved. It is important to complete the antibiotic treatment prescribed by the doctor to completely eradicate the infection.

Important: Antibiotics should only be taken under the orientation and prescription of a healthcare professional.

Antifungal medications: In cases where tongue infection is caused by excessive fungus growth, antimicotic medications can be prescribed. These medications act to eliminate the fungus and treat the underlying infection. Antifungal medications can be presented in the form of oral tablets, pills or mouthwashes, and the duration of treatment may vary depending on the seriousness of the infection.

Oral analgesics: To control the inconvenience and pain associated with lingual infections, health professionals may recommend the use of oral analgesics. These medications can help reduce inflammation, relieve pain and facilitate food ingestion and speech. It is important to follow the recommended dose and consult with a healthcare professional before taking any analgesic.

Regular medical treatment options for language infections
Treatment option Description
Antibiotics Prescribed to combat bacterial infections
Antifungal medications Used to treat fungal overgrowth infections
Oral analgesics They can help relieve discomfort and pain

Natural Remedies for Treating Tongue Infections

1. SALADA WATER RINS: One of the easiest and most effective natural remedies for tongue infections is a salt water rinse. Mixing half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water creates a soothing solution that can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria in the mouth. Gargarine with this mixture for 30 seconds, making sure to make buffers around the infected area.

  • Precautions:
  • Avoid swallowing salt water rinse
  • If you experience any adverse effect or the infection worsens, consult a healthcare professional immediately

2. Turmeric paste: turmeric is known for its antimicrobial and ant i-inflammatory properties, so it is an excellent natural remedy for language infections. Prepare a paste mixing equal parts turmeric powder and honey or water. Apply the paste directly on the affected area of the tongue and let it act a few minutes before clarifying with warm water. Repeat this process two or three times a day until the infection remites.

  1. Precautions:
  2. Avoid applying too much turmeric pasta, since it can stain the tongue temporarily
  3. If you suffer from allergy or disease, consult a healthcare professional before using turmeric as a natural remedy.

3. Chamomile tea: chamomile tea is widely known for its soothing and softening properties. It can help relieve discomfort caused by tongue infections and reduce inflammation. Prepare a cup of chamomile tea soaking a bag of chamomile tea in hot water for a few minutes. Let it cool and use it as an oral rinse, making buffers throughout the mouth, including the infected area. Repeat this operation several times a day to obtain optimal results.

Language infections can be treated with several natural remedies, such as salt water rinses, turmeric pasta and chamomile tea. These remedies help reduce inflammation, eliminate bacteria and relieve discomfort associated with lingual infections. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional if the infection persists or worsens.

Complications and Risks Associated with Untreated Tongue Infections

1. Propagation of infection: One of the main risks of unrelated lingual infections is the possible propagation of infection to other parts of the mouth and throat. The proximity of the language to neighboring fabrics and their function of facilitating speech and swallowing facilitate the rapid spread of infection. The infection can spread to gums, tonsils and even throat, which causes more serious symptoms and a longer recovery period.

  • Severe pain and discomfort: Untreated tongue infections can intensify the pain and discomfort a person experiences, making it difficult to eat, drink, or speak properly.
  • Difficulty swallowing: As the infection spreads, it can cause difficulty swallowing, leading to a compromised ability to consume food and liquids adequately.
  • Abscess formation: In some cases, untreated tongue infections can lead to the formation of abscesses, which are pus-filled pockets that can cause severe pain and swelling.

2. Systemic complications: Untreated tongue infections can also have systemic effects on the body. The oral cavity is connected to the rest of the body, and an untreated infection can allow bacteria or fungi to enter the bloodstream. This can lead to the development of systemic infections, which affect vital organs and can cause serious illness. People with weakened immune systems, such as diabetics or those infected with HIV, are especially vulnerable to these complications.

It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention and follow the recommended treatment plan when suffering from a tongue infection. Proper care and early intervention can help prevent these complications and reduce the risks associated with untreated tongue infections.

Complications and risks Possible symptoms
Spread of infection Severe pain and discomfort, difficulty swallowing, abscess formation
Systemic complications Spread of infection to vital organs, serious illness

Tips for Speeding up Recovery from Tongue Infections

1. Maintain proper oral hygiene: Practicing good oral hygiene is essential to treating and preventing tongue infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal, with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also remember to gently clean your tongue, either with a tongue scraper or by brushing it with a toothbrush. This will help remove any bacteria or debris present on the surface of the tongue.

Important: Rinse your mouth regularly with an antiseptic mouthwash to further eliminate harmful bacteria and promote healing.

  1. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mouth moist and prevent the growth of bacteria or viruses. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Also, avoid consuming foods or drinks that may irritate your tongue, such as spicy or acidic foods, until the infection has cleared.
  2. Apply natural remedies: some natural remedies can relieve language infections and help in the healing process. Consider rinse your mouth with a salt water solution several times a day. This can help reduce inflammation and eliminate bacteria. Aloe vera gel can also be applied topically to relieve discomfort and favor healing.

In addition to these tips, it is important to avoid any irritating or triggered known that can worsen lingual infection. If their symptoms persist or worsen despite these sel f-care measures, it is advisable to go to a healthcare professional to perform an additional evaluation and treatment.

To do Not to do
  • Practice good oral hygiene
  • Stay hydrated
  • Rinse with salt water
  • Consume irritating or trigger
  • Ignore persistent symptoms

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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