Have you ever noticed how sore your tongue was in the hours after receiving dental work?
Does this mean the dentist went to hard on you?
Can it mean that maybe something’s seriously wrong with the area beneath your tongue?
Sore Tongue Underneath After Dental Work
“The structure of the tongue consists of sensitive mucosa due to its highly sensitive function such as taste, speech and digestion,” says Brijesh Chandwani, DMD, BDS, Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain, with Connecticut & NY TMJ.
“It can get irritated with mechanical trauma (such as biting the tongue or roughness in certain foods) or very hot drinks,” continues Dr. Chandwani.
One such food that can cause irritation to the tongue are triangular shaped tortilla chips.
Whether these chips are whole or in fragments, they come with many pointy edges that, when chewed enthusiastically, can cause soreness to the tongue.
If you by chance receive dental work a day or two after eating a lot of pointed-edged tortilla chips or similar food, you’re bound to feel some soreness about the tongue.
Dr. Chandwani continues, “It can also get irritated from friction between tongue and dental work (filling, denture, crown or bridge).
“The dental work may or may not be sharp; friction can make the tongue sore.
“As the tongue is rich in nerve supply (it can even perceive an extremely tiny foreign body such as a piece of hair), it gets aware of the slightest change in its surroundings right away — which sometimes leads to a behavior of repeated physical friction to the new dental work.
“Sometimes the dental work may have to be smoothed/contoured; most times the tongue tends to adapt to the change.”
Give the soreness several days to settle down. Avoid foods that can aggravate any structure inside the mouth (sharp-edged foods, chips, hard candy, shelled candy, raw carrots and celery, even crisp lettuce). Also avoid hot beverages.
And don’t keep feeling your tongue to “test it out.”
Dr. Chandwani has 10+ years of experience focusing on TMJ disorders and sleep disorders.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.