Tingling Tongue – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Tingling Tongue – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Tongue is one of the sensitive organs of our body and has huge nerve supply in body. This is the reason tongue often feels much more when compared to other organs of our body and has a unique sensory function known as taste.

Every now and then we might feel the tip of tongue has tingling sensation or a sort of electric shock like feeling. In beginning we don’t pay attention until it continues for several days. This type of tingling sensation is known as parenthesia in medical terms.

Let’s see the causes and symptoms of this tingling sensation in tongue.

What is Tingling Tongue?

Tingling tongue is caused due to nerve damage of sensory receptors of tongue. The sensory receptors may be subjected to damage and generate abnormal sensations such as:

  • Thermo receptors
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Nociceptors
  • Taste receptors

Causes of Tingling Tongue

Some of the common causes of tingling tongue includes the following:


Medications like ingestic caustic agents and other dangerous medicines cause tingling sensation as a side effect. This sensation usually appears for short term unless the medication is stopped other wise it may permanently damage the tissues of tongue.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Vitamins and minerals play a vital role and have a major impact on oral health. Especially vitamins like B12 and iron are involved in production of red blood cells and proper oxygen supply to organs and muscles including tongue.Zinc is helpful to prevent infections,deficiency of these also leads to nerve damage.


There are many toxic substances, artificial toxins and natural toxins like ciguatera can certainly affect the tongue and cause numbness or tingling sensation. Heavy metal intoxication happen as a result of consuming fish, which leads to numbness and tingling sensation not only in tongue but also to other parts of the body.

Some marine life contains natural toxins which causes parenthesia, the possibilities of tingling sensation are endless.

Injury and Trauma

Even a small injury and trauma can result in permanent damage of sensory receptors of tongue. Some of the trauma things like eating too hot or cold food, biting tongue, drinking very hot drink or cold one, or getting tongue piercings also causes paresthesia.

Whereas this sensation is temporary, trauma can also happen due to treatments such as radiation for cancer treatment.

Local Anesthesia

Anesthetics is a dental treatment which causes effect of sensory functions of the tongue. It can cause temporary numbness, as well as permanent tingling and numbness of tongue. It totally depends on the type of treatment of compliant and nerve damage.

It is best to undergo allergic test before having anesthesia because many people are allergic to anesthetics which may lead to permanent damage of sensation on tongue which can endanger your life.

Infections and Diseases

Tingling Tongue Treatments

Several diseases and infections can cause tingling sensations on tongue. Some of the viral infections such as shingles and herper simplex infection can cause significant physical discomfort through painful blisters and tongue inflammation which results in numbness.

These can also lead to nerve damage as well as cause either hypersensitivity in the form of tingling and numbness or pins and needles sensation.

Symptoms of Tingling Tongue

Tingling tongue is often a symptom of abnormal sensation of a tongue.



And prickling


Treatment of tingling sensation depends on the cause. Better avoid eating fish and decayed fishes. If you are allergic to sea food items then it is better to avoid them completely.

If you experience severe symptoms of tingling tongue such as severe one side head ache, sudden loss of vision, sudden tingling following neck and back injury then you need to immediately prompt a medication.

Choose the right doctor for required medications and ask them if the medicines has any side effects.