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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Persistent Tongue Irritation



For over a year now I have two places on the left side of my toungue that just won`t stop hurting. Both seem to be on the upper edge of the tongue where the taste buds start - one is far back near the rear molars (the most annoying one) and the other towards the left eye tooth. It feels like the taste buds are sore or irritated, but no swollen taste buds are evident. I though for a long time it was because of a filling I had done on the lower left side - the filling was rough and irritated the tongue. But once I had that fixed, the tongue felt better but some of the irritation persisted

I can`t locate the exact spot using my finger, the sensation isn`t the same. I`ve had three dentists look at this during routine work and all three dismissed it as "nothing" and did just that. I finally cut off one taste bud towards the front of the tongue that I thought looked slightly different from the rest and that seems to have helped. I can`t manage a good look at the back of the tongue to do anything about that one. Any idea what this is or should I do now?


Without examining your tongue directly, the long time course and symptoms together with three separate dentists finding "nothing" would be most consistent with a diagnosis of burning mouth syndrome. Additional information about this annoying and persistent (but not life threatening) condition can be found at the links below.

Related Resources:

Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning Mouth Syndrome (AAOMP)

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Adults) 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