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Sore on Side of Tongue Causes, White, Yellow, Canker, How to Get Rid, Treat, Pictures



Do you have a sore on tip or side of your tongue? Get more insight why you might get a white or yellow sore on side of tongue as a result of canker sores, cancer, and other causes. Also, learn on how to get rid, treatment and home remedies.

Sores on Side of Tongue – Overview

sore on side of tongue

sore on side of tongue picture

Your tongue is one of the sensitive body organs that have the ability to differentiate various types of tastes. Besides having a function of tasting the food, it also helps you to speak and turn food inside the mouth to facilitate the process of swallowing.

Sores on the tongue are one of the oral problems that can interfere with the proper functioning of the tongue. Also, tongue sores can really annoy you when they cause difficulties in speaking, chewing, swallowing and tasting food.

Usually, the sores can appear on the surface, under, bottom, sides and on the tip end of your tongue. The strange sores can manifest in form of bumps, fluid-filled blister, and ulcers that range from a tiny dot to large patches on the affected area.

Mouth ulcers are always whites or yellow in color. However, they can as well take red, pink, brown, gray and dark color depending on your oral condition. The appearance of sores on tongue might not look similar but they can vary from one person to another.

The common signs and symptoms of mouth sore on side of the tongue include the following:

  • Redness and inflamed sides of the tongue
  • White or yellow patches on tongue
  • Difficulties in chewing and swallowing food
  • Small or large bumps and fluid-filled blister on sides of the tongue
  • Bad taste and temporal loss of taste
  • Shallow or deep cuts, grooves, fissures or cracks on the tongue
  • A sore throat and swollen tonsil
  • Itchiness or burning sensation on tongue
  • Dry mouth and lips
  • White or yellow ulcers that won’t heal easily on side of the tongue

A sore on side of tongue can occur on one or both sides. In most occasions, a sore on the side might be an indication of a harmless oral condition such as canker sore, cold sore, candidiasis and physical injuries. In rare cases, tongue sore could also be a symptom of a more serious health condition such as cancer of the tongue.



Why do I have a sore on the side of my tongue?

sore on tip of tongue

sore on tip of tongue and sides

A sore on the sides of your tongue are common problems that can occur in the mouth of anyone. Here are some of the reasons why you might develop sores on sides of your tongue:

  1. Injuries on side of the tongue

Physical injuries might be the reason behind a sore on side of your tongue. Cuts and cracks is an example of tongue injuries that can redevelop into open wounds or sores in the affected area of the tongue.

The possible causes of tongue injuries include:

  • Accidental biting of your tongue during the process of chewing food that can result in a cut or crack on sides and tip of the tongue.
  • Burns on the tongue that include chemical and thermal burns that can damage the skin of the tongue to form sores
  • Cuts from sharp objects such as knife, toothpicks, and
  • Bruises on the tongue as a result of chewing hard or dried food due to friction.
  1. Allergic reaction

Allergic reaction on the tongue can lead to bumps and sores. Similar to a sore on side of tongue, it can show up as a consequence of irritation that comes from eating too spicy food, acidic foods, poison ivy or any other harmful allergens.

  1. Canker sores

Cankers sore in another factor why you might develop sores on your tongue and other parts of the oral cavity. Canker sore painful gray ulcers that can show up in your oral cavity due to change of body hormones, stress, fatigue, trauma, and deficiency of nutrients.

  1. Cold sores

Sores on side of your tongue could appear a symptom of cold sore infection. These infections commonly occur outside the oral cavity but it can as well appear inside the mouth on the tongue. Cold sores are a viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus.

  1. Fungal infection

The sides of your tongue can show up sores and patches due to candidiasis or oral thrush. Fungal or yeast infection on the sides of the tongue is always associated with the formation white or yellow mass that coat the affected area of the tongue with sores.

  1. Lie bumps

Lie bump in inflamed papillae on the tongue that can occur as an effect of irritation. These bumps can develop into painful sores that can last few weeks. Lie bumps are also called transient lingual papillitis.

  1. Scarlet fever

A sore on side of tongue can occur as a sign of scarlet fever. Other than affecting your tongue to develop sore, it can also lead to a sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and skin rash. This infection is caused by streptococcus bacteria.

  1. STDs

Sexually transmitted infection is another reason why you might develop strange sores on side of the tongue and other parts of the oral cavity. Syphilis, HIV, genital warts, oral herpes, and genital herpes are some of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can lead to mouth sores.

  1. Oral cancer

Oral cancer is a rare condition that can lead to a chronic sore on side of tongue that won’t heal easily. Cancer is a life-threatening disease that can show up as sores, bumps, and blister that can bleed easily when something touches on it.

  1. Geographical tongue

This is an oral condition that can show up on the tongue as patches and sores. Typically, this condition affects the uppers surface of the tongue. However, the sides of the tongue can also be affected by this condition.

What Causes Sore on Tongue

sore on side of tongue

white sore on tongue

You can develop the sores on your tongue because of the following causes that include:

  1. Injuries on tongue

A sore on your tongue could appear as a result of injuries. Any physical injuries that can damage the delicate skin of the tongue to form cracks and cuts might be the reason behind why your tongue can develop sores.

Biting your tongue during the process of chewing food in the mouth is the common cause of injuries on the side and tip end of the tongue. Biting your tongue can result in a cut or crack on the edges of the tongue that are near the teeth.



Also, you might damage the sides and the tip of your tongue when you place sharp objects in your oral cavities such as needles and toothpicks. In addition, eating too hot food can burn the delicate skin of the tongue which can lead to mouth sores. The eating of too spicy and acidic food is another factor that might irritate your tongue to develop sores.

Your tongue can also develop sores on sides due to cunnilingus.  Cunnilingus is an act of oral sex that may lead to friction to occur between the tongue and the teeth. This can lead to physical injuries and sores on sides and tip of the tongue.

  1. Canker sore

Cankers sores are mouth ulcers that can appear on the surface of the tongue and other parts of the oral cavity. Usually, these sores have a characteristic of gray, yellow and whitish color at the center and red borders.

The outbreak of canker sores on side of the tongue can be triggered to show up by oral trauma, allergic reactions, body stress, weakened immune system, and deficiency of nutrients.

  1. Oral herpes

The infection of oral herpes can lead to cold sores or fever blisters that can affect the lips, tongue and other parts of the mouth. Cold sores are small fluid-filled blister that appears on the affected area, burst and ooze out, crust over and heal.

This infection is caused by herpes simplex virus that is highly communicable. Your tongue can develop cold sores when you are infected with herpes virus from direct in contact with the contaminated saliva from the infected person.

  1. Candidiasis

Candidiasis or oral thrush is a fungal infection that can lead to sore on sides of the tongue and other parts of the mouth. The overgrowth of yeast in the mouth cavity can lead to white or yellow patches and sores on the affected area.

  1. Transient lingual papillitis or lie bumps

You can develop sores on sides, tip, bottom, under and the surface of the tongue due to lip bumps. The tongue has natural normal tiny bumps called papillae that are very sensitive to an allergic reaction. The papillae can develop into red sore if they are irritated by allergens.

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  1. Allergic reaction

Your tongue can develop strange sores and bumps due to an allergic reaction. The common allergen that can lead to tongue inflammation and sores include the eating of spicy food, acidic food, poison ivy or any other harmful chemicals.

  1. Geographical tongue

The geographical tongue is an oral condition that shows up as red sores and patches on the tongue that look like geographical maps. The irregular patches can occur on sides, tip and surface of the tongue. The condition of the geographical tongue is a mild oral condition that can go away with a period of few weeks.

  1. Scarlet fever

A sore on side of the tongue and other parts of the oral cavity can show up as a result of scarlet fever. This infection is caused by streptococcal bacteria. This infection is common to young children but can as well affect adults.

  1. STD

The sores on your tongue might occur as an effect of sexually transmitted disease (STD). The development of an oral sores after having unprotected oral, anal or virginal sex, it could be an indication of sexually transmitted infection. Oral herpes, genital herpes, warts, syphilis, and HIV are some of the STDs that can lead to sores in your oral cavity.

  1. Cancer

A chronic sore on your tongue that refuses to go away and can bleed easily could be a symptom of tongue cancer. The cancer of the tongue is a serious health condition that needs special medical treatment from the health provider.

In case you notice any sores on your tongue that has to refuse to heal and has a characteristic of bleeding each time something touches, you should see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of this oral problem.

  1. Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia is an oral condition that can lead to white, red or yellow sores on tongue. This condition is common to people who smoke and abuse alcohol.

  1. Deficiency of nutrients

Nutrients deficiency can lead to the weakened immune system. This can result in mouth sores. Deficiency of vitamin B, iron and calcium in your body can cause the formation of oral sores.

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White Sore on tip of tongue

Do you have a white sore on tip of your tongue?  A white sore on tip of the tongue can interfere with your speaking and chewing food. If this sore is large and painful, it may cause difficulties in eating, tasting and speaking.

An ulcer of the tip of the tongue can occur due to several health conditions. The white bumps on the tip of your tongue might be a symptoms harmless oral condition such as a small cut, canker sores, cold sore, thrush and allergic reaction.

Occasionally, a more serious oral condition such as cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and other underlying causes can also result in the formation of a chronic white sore on tip of the tongue that needs medical diagnosis and treatment.

Canker Sore on Side of Tongue

canker sore on tongue

canker sore on tongue side

The sore on side of the tongue can occur as a result of the canker sore infection. Canker sores are small painful ulcers that can show up in the mouth cavity. The unique features of canker sores are that they have a white, yellow or gray color at the center and red color at the base of the bumps.

Simple canker sore on side of tongue is a mild oral condition that cannot advance it health complication. These sores can last few weeks before they go away. In few cases, complex canker sore can appear to people with compromised immunity and may take a relatively long period of time to heal.

What Causes Canker Sores on Side of Tongue

According to Web MD, there is no clear specific cause of canker sore in the oral cavity. However, expertise attributes that you can develop canker sore when you are exposed to risk factors that might trigger the canker sore to show up.

The risk factors that can trigger canker sores to appear in your oral cavity include:



  • Stress
  • fatigue
  • change of hormones
  • oral injuries or trauma
  • weakened immune system
  • allergic reactions

What does cancer in the Mouth look like when it starts?

In most occasions, oral cancer begins in squamous cells that show up as white or red spots and patches. The patches in the affected area advance into painful chronic ulcers that persisted for a long period of time without healing.

Other symptoms associated with cancer of the mouth at the beginning include:

  • chronic bumps and ulcers that refuse to heal
  • thickening of mouth lining or lumps
  • difficulties in chewing and swallowing food
  • sore throat
  • hoarse voice
  • severe pain in tongue, neck, and ears
  • a strange feeling of something stuck in the throat

Sore on Side of Tongue Treatment

Sore on side of the tongue can be treated using either home remedies or medical treatment depending on the oral condition. Home remedies are usually effective for tiny and mild sores caused by minor causes such as canker sore, cold sore, small injuries and allergic reaction.

In case of the more serious oral problem caused by cancer, STDs, scarlet fever and other underlying condition, you can alternatively go for medical diagnosis and treatment by visiting your doctor or dentist.

Your doctor might use the following methods that can help to treat a sore on your tongue:

  • prescription of oral medicinal drugs such as antibiotics, antifungal, and antiviral drugs
  • prescription of appropriate mouthwash liquids
  • laser treatment that used strong waves of light to control the overgrowth of cancerous sores
  • surgical treatment that can help to remove malignant cell that leads to chronic sores

Home Remedies for Sore on Side of Tongue

The natural methods to treat a sore on side of your tongue at home include the following:

  1. Salt rinse

The salt solution is an effective home remedy that can help to heal a sore on side of tongue and other parts of the oral cavity. Salt has natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help to relieve mouth sores.

You can mix one teaspoon of table salt into a ¼ glass of warm water and swish the solution in your mouth cavity several times as you spit it out. Repeat this treatment three times in a day until the mouth sore goes away.

  1. Baking soda

Baking soda has a natural astringent property that can help to heal various types of mouth sore. Simply mix one teaspoon of baking soda into 1 glass of warm water. Rinse your mouth with this solution three times in a day for few weeks.

  1. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has the antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities that can help to heal a sore on side your tongue. Dilute ¼ glass of apple cider vinegar with equal amount of water and swish it over your mouth several times before you spit it out. Repeat the same procedure three times in a day until mouth sores clear away.

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has medicinal values that can heal sores on tongue fast. Simply apply the Aloe Vera cream, juice of gel directly on the affected area of the tongue and rinse your mouth with water after 15 minutes. Ensure you avoid swallowing it. Repeat this procedure three times in a day for few weeks until the sore on side of tongue heal completely.

  1. Lemon juice and honey

This is an excellent home remedy that can help to heal the sore on your tongue fast. Honey has the ability to soothe and heal ulcers in the oral cavity. Lemon juice has citric acid that acts as the antiseptic that can help to kill harmful disease-causing microorganisms.

In your preparation, mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with equal amount of raw honey and apply it directly to the affected area of the mouth with sores. Repeat this procedure twice in a day for few weeks until the mouth sore goes away.

Further References;

  1. causes of mouth sores on side of the tongue: https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/sore-tongue#modal-close
  2. White sore on tip of the tongue: https://www.livestrong.com/article/317780-small-white-bumps-on-the-tip-of-the-tongue/https://www.medicinenet.com/canker_sores/article.htm
  3. Canker sore on side of the tongue:
  4. What causes canker sore on the side of the tongue: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/canker-sores-topic-overview#1
  5. How the cancer of the mouth look like at the start: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-does-mouth-cancer-look#2
  6. Treatment of sores on side of the tongue: https://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-sore-tongue.html

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