What Can Cause A Tingling Tongue?
There are a number of possible causes of a tingling tongue, a burning tongue, or numbness in the tongue. This particular situation falls under the general heading of a situation known as paresthesia. Paresthesia is a burning or tingling sensation usually felt in the extremities, the hands, legs, or fingers. An example of paresthesia most of us are familiar with is waking up with a tingling in our fingers when we've been sleeping on our arm.
Paresthesia usually occurs suddenly, and most often goes away nearly as quickly as it appeared. If not, or if the situation is chronic, for example if you experience a tingling tongue quite often or constantly, it is an abnormal condition. Something is wrong.
Causes Of Tongue Paresthesia - Knowing your tingling tongue is called tongue paresthesia, doesn't help the tingling sensation go away. We have to look into what some of the more common causes of paresthesia are. Causes can include trauma, though trauma is more apt to bring on pain or numbness, though a tingling or prickling sensation may also be present. An infection of inflammation of the taste buds on the tongue, which are loaded with sensory nerves, could cause tingling or numbness if the nerves have been damaged.
A tingling tongue can also be traced to an underlying disease or disorder, a systemic disease such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis will often lead to paresthesia in the finders, feet, or toes, but could also affect the tongue. Anything that attacks the brain or the nervous system can cause symptoms far away from the actual point of attack. Sleep on your forearm, and your fingers tingle, even though nothing touched or put pressure on the fingers. Put pressure on a certain nerve, and the sensory nerves in your tongue may respond by giving a tingling or burning sensation, or simply going numb.
It is normally the case when we experience a symptom of one kind or another, we need to find the cause to make the symptom go away. Symptoms can be treated, but if the underlying cause is not addressed, the symptoms we experience will probably return, perhaps eventually becoming chronic.
Injury to nerves could be one cause of a tingling tongue, but barring actual physical injury, where else may the problem lie? If you are experiencing tingling periodically or it is becoming chronic, the most likely cause is a deficiency of something. Deficiencies most likely to cause a tingling tongue would be deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, or vitamin B12.
Calcium Deficiency and Tetany - A deficiency of calcium in the bloodstream is called hypocalcemia. This deficiency most often is due to disease or the effects of certain medications. A thyroid disease, hypoparathyroidism is one of the more common causes of hypocalcemia, and consequently paresthesia of the tongue. Hypoparathyroidism is the condition where the parathyroid glands are not producing enough of the hormones that regulate the calcium levels in the body.
The symptoms of hypocalcemia are referred to as tetany, which includes among other symptoms, a tingling tongue. If can be a bit confusing as one may read that tetany is one of the causes of a tingling tongue. Tetany is not a cause, but a set of symptoms, and tingling tongue is one of those symptoms.
A Magnesium Deficiency - A magnesium deficiency is another cause of tingling tongue. Our body is so dependent upon magnesium however, that a magnesium deficiency is apt to bring on a whole host of problems and symptoms, many of which will be much more severe than a mere tingling tongue. Blood tests are one way a physician can determine if calcium or magnesium deficiency exists.
A Vitamin B12 Deficiency - Another deficiency with a variety of associated symptoms is a vitamin B12 deficiency. Whereas we can be somewhat deficient in either calcium or magnesium without feeling any symptoms, a borderline vitamin B12 deficiency can bring on a host of problems. Vitamin B12 deficiencies generally don't happen overnight, but usually over a period of years. While a vitamin B12 deficiency can often be difficult to diagnose, mainly because the symptoms could be due to a host of other disorders or diseases, a tingling tongue or an itchy tongue is one of the more common symptoms. A vitamin B12 deficiency is treatable, usually by vitamin injection.
Summary - If you experience a tingling tongue, and it is only temporary and does not return, chances are sensory nerves have been disturbed or damaged, but have healed, and there is nothing to be concerned about. If your tingling tongue is a frequent occurrence, or is becoming chronic, chances are you either have a nervous system disorder, the sensation is due to an underlying disease or disorder, or you are suffering from a deficiency in calcium, magnesium, or vitamin B12.