Many conditions that affect the tongue can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. But if you have a sore tongue, there are several home remedies that can ease the soreness, depending on the cause.
If the soreness or pain lasts more than two weeks, or presents itself with other bothersome symptoms, see a doctor.
Sore tongue at-home remedies
Most causes of a sore tongue, like canker sores, swollen taste buds, and mouth injuries, can be treated at home. Home remedies can also help you ease a sore tongue caused by more serious medical conditions, such as burning mouth syndrome or oral thrush, as part of a medical treatment plan.
Brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush, flossing, and using a mouthwash can help rid yourself of a sore tongue and prevent infection. You may also find that using a toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate helps relieve soreness.
Aloe Vera known for its skin-soothing abilities. This also applies to the tongue. You can rinse your mouth with aloe juice a few times per day.
For pain and swelling, try rinsing your mouth with a mixture of warm water and baking soda (1 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of water). You can also make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to the sore area.
Milk of magnesia
Applying small amounts of milk of magnesia, an acid neutralizer, to a sore tongue can help relieve pain and promote healing.
As an antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide can treat an infection or sore inside your mouth. Use only 3% hydrogen peroxide and dilute it with water (equal parts peroxide to water).
Dab the affected area using a cotton swab. After a few seconds, rinse your mouth with warm water.
Gargling salt water is another way to reduce pain, inflammation, and prevent infection. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, swish it around your mouth, gargle, and spit.
Honey is a natural antibacterial and has been shown to be effective in treating several types of wounds. You can rub a bit of honey directly on the sore area a few times per day or drink a warm tea with honey.
Coconut oil may be able to heal a sore tongue because of its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Apply the oil directly to the sore area with a cotton ball, rubbing it gently. Or you can swish it around in your mouth and spit it out. This is called oil pulling.
Chamomile is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Scientific evidence is limited, however. To try this remedy, rinse your mouth with a strong chamomile tea once it has cooled, or apply a wet tea bag directly to the sore spot.
Antacids are used to neutralize stomach acid and may help relieve a burning or sore tongue, especially if it’s caused by acid reflux.
Ice, ice pops, and cold water
Ice has numbing qualities, so drinking ice-cold water or sucking on an ice cube or ice pop can help relieve some tongue soreness, including soreness caused by dry mouth, or a burning mouth.