Numb of the tongue - what does it mean?

Numbness of the tongue in medical practice is considered one of the varieties of paresthesias.

This unpleasant sensation is accompanied by a feeling of tingling or tingling. It causes discomfort, and sometimes causes serious excitement.

The causes of this symptom can be completely harmless, not requiring special treatment. But there are also factors that threaten serious complications, therefore, require immediate medical intervention.

Causes of numbness of the tip of the tongue - what does it mean?

Numbness of the tip or the entire area of ​​the tongue can be provoked by a huge variety of reasons, which even an experienced specialist cannot always understand.

Increased sensitivity of this organ is associated with a large number of nerve endings on its mucous membranes, as well as its abundant blood supply. Exposure to certain stimuli leads to the fact that the tongue starts to hurt, or "become numb."

The most common causes of numbness of the tip of the tongue in adults include:


Some types of drugs, among other ailments, have in the list of side effects and such an unpleasant phenomenon as numbness of the tongue. This risk increases in case of a long, uncontrolled intake or overdose of the drug.

Antibiotics, antihistamines, and hormonal preparations can numb the tip of the tongue. Some types of antimicrobial, antiseptic or antimycotic drugs, especially those used for local therapy, and used for the rehabilitation of the oral cavity, are also able to provoke the occurrence of this type of paresthesia.

Allergic reaction

Food allergies, oral hygiene items (rinses, toothpastes, homemade teeth whitening gels, etc.), chewing gum can cause numbness of the tip of the tongue.

Along with this, there may be other unpleasant symptoms - itching, redness of the mucous membranes, burning. If there are signs of allergy to a particular product, contact with the allergen should be immediately excluded, otherwise the situation will not be limited to numbness of the tip of the tongue.

Dental manipulations

Most patients complain of feeling numb in the mouth after installing artificial dentures. But other dental interventions with the use of local anesthetics can lead to temporary discomfort in the mouth. If the numbness of the tongue does not go away even after the termination of the anesthesia, it is urgent to consult a doctor who performed the manipulation.

Anemia or vitamin deficiency

Numbness of the tip of the tongue may be one of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia or B-12 avitaminosis. In addition to the subjective discomfort that the patient feels, there are also visually noticeable deviations. In particular, during the examination one can notice that the tongue has become smooth, shiny, as if covered with varnish. Along with this, his pronounced hyperemia is noted.

The nipples disappear from the surface of the mucous membrane of the organ, the drawing becomes blurred, or completely invisible. It is in combination with these symptoms manifest numbness that can affect both the tip and the entire area of ​​the tongue.


Constant nerve strain or chronic stress is one of the most common causes of numbness of the tip of the tongue. The appearance of such a symptom suggests that the nervous system is on the verge of exhaustion, and does not cope with psycho-emotional stress.

Age changes

Numbness of the tip of the tongue is often observed in women during menopause and postmenopausal women. In connection with hormonal changes, a violation of the regulatory activity of the centers of the ANS occurs.

As a result, the mucous membrane of the tongue and mouth can gradually become thinner, which causes a violation of the innervation of the tongue. To begin with, numbness can be noted only in the region of the tip of this organ, then it gradually passes over its entire surface. Subsequently, periodic manifestation of paresthesia of the oral cavity as a whole is possible.


Reflux disease is accompanied by a reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. Contact with hydrochloric acid on the mucous membranes of the body leads to their irritation, which is accompanied by heartburn and sour belching with an unpleasant odor. But these are not the only symptoms of the disease.

It is also characterized by numbness of the tip of the tongue, since gastric juice not only enters the esophagus, but can also reach the oral cavity. Aspiration with hydrochloric acid violates the innervation of the tongue, so there is a feeling of numbness or burning, pinching.


Causes of numbness of the tip of the tongue in pregnant women can be both safe and extremely serious, requiring mandatory medical intervention. In the early stages of the gestational period, this symptom is associated with hormonal changes occurring in the woman’s body. Usually this situation is safe and does not require medical intervention.

But if numbness of the tip of the tongue occurred suddenly in late pregnancy, and is accompanied by swelling, increased blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, or fainting, this is an extremely unfavorable sign. This symptom complex indicates the development of preeclampsia - late toxicosis. The situation is dangerous for the life of the mother and child, and requires the immediate hospitalization of a pregnant woman.


Tongue receptors are very sensitive to any external stimuli. Tobacco, especially poor quality or too strong, is just such a fact annoying language receptors. As a result, numbness of the tip or the entire surface of the organ occurs, salivation increases, bitterness is felt and other unpleasant symptoms appear after the smoked cigarette. Moreover, the more cigarettes a day a person smokes, the more intense and more frequent the numbness is.

The effect of high or low temperatures on the mucous membranes of the mouth. Excessive enthusiasm for hot or cold drinks leads to a temporary disruption of the activity of language receptors. The result is a burning sensation and / or numbness.

Caffeine overdose

Excessive use of coffee or other caffeine-based energy drinks can also numb the tip of the tongue. This symptom is usually combined with increased sweating, tachycardia, nausea, increased psychomotor and physical excitability.

Consequences of inhalation anesthesia

The use of inhaled anesthesia (in particular, ether) is a fairly common cause of numbness of the tip of the tongue or the mucous membrane of the entire oral cavity. This is a quick but very unpleasant side effect of general anesthesia, which, as a rule, does not require treatment.

More dangerous causes of tongue numbness

All of the above causes of numbness of the tip of the tongue are not dangerous. But there are a number of pathologies, a symptom of which may be such a deviation. In particular, such an anomaly is often manifested in the background:

  • myocardial infarction;
  • stroke;
  • disorders of cerebral circulation;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • diabetes mellitus (with diabetic neuropathy);
  • Borreliosis (Lyme disease);
  • hypothyroidism, which is accompanied by insufficient production of thyroxin and triiodothyronine;
  • tumors of the brain or spinal cord that compress nerves innervating the tongue;
  • severe intoxication with ethanol, metal or toxin poisoning.

All these conditions require compulsory treatment, so do not hesitate to visit the doctor.

Related symptoms

Numbness of the tip of the tongue rarely occurs as the only symptom. Often people also complain about the presence of:

  • general muscle weakness;
  • changes or complete loss of taste perception;
  • weakness of the facial muscles;
  • tingling sensation in the tongue;
  • pain in the eyes;
  • impaired visual function;
  • pain in the tongue, face, or mouth.

These symptoms are not critical, but their causes must be established. It is especially important to seek help from a doctor if the numbness of the tongue is accompanied by:

  • disorders of consciousness up to its complete loss;
  • hallucinations;
  • abrupt behavior change;
  • malfunction of the anal sphincter, which is manifested by fecal incontinence;
  • spontaneous urination;
  • speech problems;
  • constant thirst;
  • sharp weight loss or, on the contrary, weight gain;
  • numbness or limited mobility in one side of the body;
  • spontaneous, uncontrolled movements;
  • problems with swallowing and breathing;
  • frequent urination, etc.

Numbness of the tip of the tongue, together with such symptoms, should not be ignored. It is necessary to consult a doctor as soon as possible and be examined in order to avoid adverse health effects.


If a persistent feeling of numbness of the tip of the tongue appears, you should seek medical help. First of all, you should undergo an examination by a therapist, after which he can refer the patient to a more specialized doctor:

  • cardiologist;
  • a dentist;
  • a neurologist;
  • a gastroenterologist;
  • endocrinologist.

During the initial examination, the patient should remember:

  • what medications he was taking lately, what was their dosage, how long the treatment lasted, and whether / he had other complaints about the manifestation of suspicious symptoms;
  • what diseases they suffered in the last year;
  • what is its diet;
  • what hygiene products (up to toothpaste and brush) is used by him to care for the oral cavity;
  • Does he follow the daily routine, and what are its main principles.

If the initial consultation and anamnesis did not help to determine the cause of numbness of the tip of the tongue, the patient is sent for additional examinations:

  • Analysis of urine;
  • general clinical blood test;
  • blood test for hormones;
  • blood and urine testing for sugar content;
  • neurological examination;
  • ECG;
  • Echocardiography;
  • EEG, etc.

If necessary, computed or magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical area or brain can be assigned.

How to get rid of numbness of the tip of the tongue?

If the causes of numbness of the tip of the tongue lie in the presence of diseases of the neuroendocrine or cardiovascular system, oropharynx or teeth, then only a doctor should deal with the treatment. The treatment regimen will depend on the results of tests and instrumental studies.

In the case when the paresthesia of the tongue is associated with the influence of non-pathological factors, you can get rid of it with the help of the following measures:

  1. Mouthwash with soda-saline solution. For its preparation, you need to dissolve a teaspoon of sea (or table) salt and the same amount of soda in a glass of warm water. You can also add to the mixture 3 drops of iodine. Mix well and use 3-4 times a day to rinse.
  2. Rinse the oropharynx infusion of herbal. To cook it, you need to brew for 1 tsp. sage, chamomile and oak bark with a glass of boiling water. Keep until cool, then strain. Rinse procedure should be carried out 3-5 times a day. The above herbs can be applied separately. Instead, the infusion can be prepared from celandine or hypericum.
  3. Applications with sea buckthorn and peach oil, as well as rosehip oil have a good effect. For a compress you need a clean natural cloth, gauze or bandage. It should be plentifully moistened in oil and applied to the tip of the tongue. Hold 10 - 15 minutes, then take off. After that, it is not recommended to eat or drink for half an hour.

Usually such procedures help to fix the problem within 2-3 days, especially if the numbness of the tongue was caused by the use of drugs or hot drinks. But if improvement does not occur, or other symptoms have joined the paresthesia, self-treatment should be stopped. In this case, only a doctor can help.

Watch the video: What Does It Mean When Your Tongue Is Numb? (December 2019).


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