Canker Sore Under Tongue

A canker sore under tongue for you is an uncomfortable and painful oral situation.

This article will highlight symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, home remedies, and prevention for your canker sore under tongue.

For urgent dental situations contact a 24 Hour Dentist near you.  Or even a pediatric dentist, sedation dentist, Walk in Dentist Near You or Sunday Dentist Near You.

Canker Sore Types

A canker sore is a shallow sore in your mouth that often makes talking or eating uncomfortable or even painful.  In addition to a canker sore under tongue, it may be on the soft palate, inside of your cheek, or in another spot inside your mouth.  The medical term for a canker sore is aphtous ulcer.

There are three types of canker sores:

Minor canker sores.  These canker sores in the mouth are less than 1 centimeter across.  They normally heal in about a week and do not leave a scar.

Major canker sore.  These sores are larger than 1 centimeter across and may exist for more than two weeks.  They heal, yet often leave a scar.

Herpetiform canker sore.  These sores form as cluster of tiny ulcers.  They can grow together into one large sore.  This type of sore is rare and usually heal in about a week.

Canker Sore Symptoms

The Cleveland Clinic outline these canker sore Symptoms:

-One or more sores inside your mouth, inside your cheeks, on the tongue,  or on the soft palate (the back of the roof of your mouth).

-The sores are white or gray with a red border.

-Often you feel a burning or tingling even before you can see the sores.

When to see a Doctor

Symptoms for severe cases that tell you when to see a doctor:

-Sore does not heal in 3 weeks


-General fatigue

-Swollen lymph nodes (you can feel them at the back of your jaw near your ear or your dentist can check them for you)

Canker sore symptoms


First, canker sores are not contagious and are not spread through saliva.  Dentists do not yet understand the process that causes canker sores, but research has identified triggers that cause these sores inside your mouth and that negatively impact your oral health.

Some triggers may be as simple as an injury, such as biting the inside of your cheek or tongue, and even a chipped tooth or rough surface caused by a cavity in a tooth or sometimes a cavity in a front tooth.

Other causes include:

-Weak immune system




-Diet lacking B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron

These medical conditions may also cause canker sores:  ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, people with herpes and HIV/AIDS.

Canker sore causes

Canker Sore Diagnosis

Special tests are not needed for canker sore diagnosis.  A visual exam is all that is needed for your dentist to identify the sores in your mouth including canker sore under tongue.

If your canker sores are severe in nature or recur frequently, your dentist may choose to run tests to provide a diagnosis for another health problem that may be the cause of your canker sores.

Canker Sore Treatment

Minor canker sores normally do not require medical treatment to bring back your dental health.  However, there are options to treat a major canker sore under tongue or wherever it is in your mouth.

Here are some options for canker sore treatment:

Mouth Rinse.  A dentist may prescribe a mouth rinse with the steroid Dexamethasone for severe cases.  This will reduce pain and inflammation.  Another mouth rinse option is lidocaine to reduce the pain when needed as canker sore treatment.

Topical canker sore treatment. These products may be applied directly to the sore and may reduce the pain and duration of the sore if applied when it first appears. Topical canker sore treatments include:



-Hydrogen peroxide

Canker Sore Medicine

Your dentist or pharmacist can recommend one of the above treatments for your canker sore medicine.  Your oral health is important and so is the health of your overall body system.  You want to keep your teeth, tongue, and entire mouth healthy and free of pain in the best way for your overall health.

Topical canker sore medicine that may be applied directly on the canker sore is one option.  Oral medication is another option for the most severe cases.

If your canker sore under tongue or any place in your mouth does not heal in a couple weeks or is more than one centimeter across, then it is time to contact a dentist for a full dental exam.

Some options for canker sore medicine:

-triamcinolone acetonide



Canker sore medicine

Canker Sore Home Remedy

There are a number of things you probably have in your kitchen that can be used as part of your canker sore home remedy tool kit.  Your oral health and wellbeing may be greatly improved, so try these out to see if they help your mouth feel better.  Of course contact your dental professional if you have a severe canker sore or before trying a canker sore home remedy.

Canker sore home remedy tips to try:

-Apply bit of ice to sore to reduce pain

-Small amount of milk of magnesia applied directly to sore

-Warm water and baking soda (1 teaspoon per half cup of water) rinsed in your mouth

-Honey is also said to have canker sore home remedy benefits


Canker sore prevention is part of your overall health as well as keeping your mouth and teeth healthy.  Just as brushing your teeth is healthy though it won’t necessarily prevent all cavities; these canker sore prevention steps are healthy although they won’t prevent all dental issues.

Canker sore prevention:

-Avoid acidic, spicy, or hot food that irritate your mouth

-Avoid irritation from chewing gum

-Brush with a soft bristled tooth brush that will not irritate your mouth twice per day and floss once per day.  This will reduce irritating food particles that may be in your mouth.

-Avoid dental products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate

Canker sore prevention

Canker sore prevention is important for people with frequent sores and your dentist is a great resource for further information.

Your oral health is vital to the comfort of your mouth and wellbeing.  Many canker sores, while uncomfortable, will heal by themselves.

Having a canker sore under tongue can be painful and sometimes even a severe issue requiring immediate dental attention.

Your Cankers Sore FAQs

Are canker sores contagious?

No.  While they can be painful, you will not give it to another person.  The cause of canker sores are not understood by dentists yet it has been shown that they cannot be passed from person to person.


Is a canker sore the same as a cold sore?

No.  Cold sores are on the lips outside the mouth and canker sores are inside the mouth.  The cause for canker sores is not well understood and the Herpes Simplex virus causes cold sores.  Both will usually go away on their own within about seven to ten days.