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Also known as aphthous ulcers, a tongue ulcer is a condition in which sores appear on the surface of the tongue. In some cases, the appearance of the tongue ulcers will be light colored areas that are slightly inflamed. At other times, the ulcers will seem to sink into the surface of the tongue and be very sensitive to hot and cold. While there is some difference of opinion on exactly why mouth ulcers develop, there are a number of health issues that seem to lead to ulcers on the tongue.
As with many bodily ailments, there appears to be some correlation between stress and the development of ulcers on tongue tissue. There is some evidence that the prolonged and intense stress depletes the body of essential nutrients and over time can cause the immune system to weaken. As a result, the tissue of the tongue becomes more susceptible to bacteria and infection, allowing the tongue ulcers to form. Often, a regimen of vitamin supplementation and reducing stress can cure the ulcers on the tongue in a relatively short period of time.
A lack of sleep and general physical fatigue also seems to be among tongue ulcer causes. Poor sleep habits and the resulting negative impact on energy levels can also weaken the body’s defenses, leaving the tongue open to infection. Managing to get a recuperative night’s sleep each night will often allow the body to begin healing naturally and gradually heal any tongue ulcers that developed.
Allergies are also suspected of being the underlying cause of tongue ulcers. In particular a food allergy, such as a negative reaction to citrus fruits, may irritate the tongue and cause the ulcers to appear. Testing for and identifying food allergies make it possible to change dietary habits to avoid the use of any food or beverage that could be the cause of the ulcers, allowing the tongue to begin healing almost immediately.
Many believe that a hormone imbalance can lead to the development of tongue ulcers. Changes of this type may result due to a physical trauma that minimizes the body’s natural ability to produce hormones, shifts in hormone production as a result of a prolonged illness, or even a natural life event such as menopause. When hormones are suspected of being the underlying cause, restoring hormonal balance will often cause the tongue ulcers to fade in a short period of time.
Depending on the severity of the tongue ulcers, a physician may use medication to heal the ulcers while tests are ran to determine the origin of the health issue. Because there is no consensus on what causes a tongue ulcer to develop, it may take some time to identify the most likely underlying cause. Once the physician believes the most likely trigger has been identified, the ailment can be treated and hopefully the ulcers will not recur.