Allergies: Swollen Tongue

Medications, allergies, and underlying health issues are the most prevalent causes of tongue swelling, but there are other possible causes. Angioedema is a type of swelling that develops in the subcutaneous fat, which may explain the cause of the bulge.

Not just the front of the tongue but also the rear of the tongue, the mouth, the gums, and even the larynx (voice box) may swell up when someone has a cold.

Tongue anatomy is largely muscular, with epithelium covering the surface. The taste buds on its surface let humans recognize and respond to a wide range of flavors, including sweet, sour, and salty. The taste buds on the tongue, like the tongue itself, may enlarge.

A swollen tongue is often considered a medical emergency needing urgent care since it may block up your airways and make breathing difficult.

Swollen Tongue Causes

Protective swelling is essential. Inflammation helps heal wounds and remove bacteria and parasites. Abnormal or sustained swelling might have serious consequences.

A wide range of different conditions may cause swollen tongue symptoms. A swollen tongue's primary cause is sometimes the food we eat, but there are other, potentially more significant causes.

Environmental Factors

Several factors, including poor oral hygiene or chemical exposures, may bring on an enlarged tongue.

Trauma − Tongue trauma includes burns, bites, piercings, and other injuries.

Irritation − Tobacco, alcohol, and spicy meals are just a few examples of substances that may irritate the tongue and lead to swelling. Reflux disease and similar conditions might have a similar effect.

Allergies − Swelling of the tongue is a common sign of an allergic reaction, which may be triggered by anything from food and medicine to bee stings and oral products.

Vitamin Deficiency − An insufficient supply of some vitamins, such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and folate, might cause your tongue to swell.

Swelling Of the Tongue Due to Inflammation

An infection caused by bacteria, either on the tongue itself or in another part of the body, may cause the tongue to swell and become more significant. There are a variety of conditions that may cause your tongue to swell, including strep throat, syphilis, herpes, and yeast infections, to name a few.

Causes Of Swelling Tongue that are Systemic

The following systemic disorders may cause your tongue to enlarge.

Cancer − Swelling occurs when cancer of the tongue spreads. While initial tongue swelling from cancer of the tongue is sometimes minor, the condition is more often characterized by a gradual but persistent increase in tongue size.

Metabolic − Tongue enlargement may be caused by metabolic issues. Substance abuse may lead to metabolic abnormalities, including those affecting the pituitary gland.

Hereditary − The tongue is only one of several body parts that may be affected by inherited illnesses like Down syndrome.

Use Of an Ace Inhibitor-induced Swelling

Drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are used to treat or reduce the symptoms of illnesses, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and diabetes. Extremely rarely, these medications may trigger a life-threatening adverse response.

Rareness − Average

Common Symptoms: Dyspnoea, Chest Pain, Difficulty Swallowing, Lip, and Tongue Swelling, and Shortness of Breath

Hives, red, raised lumps, or patches with a pale center are never seen when swelling is brought on by an ace inhibitor.

Immediate − Getting admitted to the hospital

Renal Failure (Nephrotic Syndrome)

Excessive protein in the urine is a symptom of nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disease. As a rule, this happens when the filters in the kidneys, called glomeruli, get destroyed.

Albuminuria is the most prevalent form of kidney injury and nephrotic syndrome.

Ace Inhibitor Swelling

ACE inhibitors treat excessive blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and diabetes. These medicines may sometimes induce life-threatening allergic reactions.

Ludwig’s Angina – Severe Mouth Infection

Ludwig angina is a tongue-under-the-tongue bacterial infection.

Visit an emergency room immediately. Antibiotics and surgery are needed immediately.

Salivary Duct Stones

Most salivary gland diseases are salivary duct stones (where you make spit). They might be tiny particles or centimeters-long stones.


Gingivitis is gum disease. Plaque and tartar cause it. Food debris, mucous, and bacteria form plaque. Plaque hardens into tartar (or calculus). Plaque and tartar at the gumline irritate and infect the gums.


Angioedema causes swelling and puffiness of the face, lips, tongue, hand, or genitals. Food, drug, and insect bite allergies may cause it.

Related Conditions

Other causes of a swollen tongue include the following −

  • Acromegaly and other diseases linked to hormone imbalances

  • inherited conditions, such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, that are present at birth

  • Conditions that run in families, such as Down syndrome and anaphylaxis

  • Hypothyroidism is the medical term for a thyroid ailment characterized by an underactive thyroid gland.

  • Vitamin B12 absorption is below average

  • Concerns about the function of the pituitary gland

Swollen Tongue Therapy

We've all burnt our tongues and swollen them. Unfortunately, we also know that the therapy usually includes waiting for the discomfort to diminish. However, extensive treatment may be needed for chronic or multiple swollen tongue symptoms.

Home Remedies for a Swollen Tongue

If your tongue is swollen, treat it at home using one of the methods below.

  • Modifications to one's way of life, particularly one's food, may assist in alleviating edema brought on by several conditions. Sometimes, a swollen tongue may be cured by refraining from eating or using cigarettes. You may also find relief by reducing the amount you chew or switching to a liquid diet.

  • Drugstore ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help alleviate inflammation.

  • Swelling of the tongue is common and usually harmless, but it may make eating and talking painful. However, since there is always the possibility of a more serious reason, monitoring symptoms and guaranteeing the correct treatment for a swollen tongue is necessary.

Treatments for Tongue Enlargement by Professionals

If your tongue swelling worsens or doesn't go away after trying the home remedies below, you should see a doctor. This is what he or she would suggest.

Medicine − In difficult situations, a doctor may prescribe medication to reduce the swelling of the tongue.

Treatment − Treatment for tongue cancer often involves a combination of radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and surgery.