Causes of tongue spasms
Tongue spasms can be caused by several things, such as stress, anxiety, dehydration, or nutritional deficiencies. Sometimes, they can be a side effect of medications. You can do a few things to help stop your tongue from spasming, such as drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough rest, and managing your stress.
One of the possible causes of tongue spasms is dehydration. Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough water. This can happen for many reasons, such as not drinking enough, losing fluids through vomiting or diarrhea, or sweating too much. Dehydration can cause many problems, including headaches, dry mouth, and dizziness. If you think you may be dehydrated, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and see a doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
An allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction of the immune system to harmless environmental substances. These substances are known as allergens and include pollens, molds, dust, animal dander, and certain foods. Allergies can cause various symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and skin, rashes, hives, or even difficulty breathing. In some people, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylactic shock.
Anyone can develop an allergy anytime, but certain factors may increase your risk. These include having other allergies or family members with allergies, exposure to allergens at an early age, asthma, and other chronic respiratory disorders.
Nerve damage is the most common cause of tongue spasms. The tongue is a muscle controlled by the nerves in your brain. When these nerves are damaged, they can send mixed signals to the tongue muscle, causing it to spasm.
Several things can cause nerve damage, including:
-Illness: illnesses like stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease can all cause nerve damage
-Injury: an injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves controlling the tongue
-Tumors: tumors in the brain or neck can put pressure on the nerves controlling the tongue and cause them to malfunction
-Surgery: surgery in the head or neck area can damage the nerves controlling the tongue
Treatments for tongue spasms
Tongue spasms can be treated with medications, home remedies, and other treatments. Medications to treat tongue spasms include anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, and botulinum toxin injections. Home remedies for tongue spasms include ice, heat, and massage. Other treatments for tongue spasms include acupuncture and biofeedback.
You can do a few things at home to help ease the pain of tongue spasms and prevent them from happening again.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day. This will help to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Massage your tongue with your fingers. This can help to relax the muscles and reduce spasms.
- Place a cold, wet cloth on your tongue for a few minutes. This will help to numb the area and reduce pain.
- Avoid eating spicy or acidic foods that can irritate your tongue.
- Reduce stress by getting plenty of rest, exercising, and taking breaks during the day.
- Sucking on ice chips
- One of the quickest ways to stop a tongue spasm is to suck on ice chips. The cold temperature will help to stop the muscle spasm and relax the tongue. This method is also helpful in reducing inflammation and pain associated with the spasm.
- Applying a cold compress
Another way to stop a tongue spasm is to apply a cold compress to the area. This can be done with a bag of frozen peas or a damp cloth. Apply the compress for about 15 minutes, then remove it for 15 minutes. Repeat this process as necessary until the spasm subsides.
- Taking muscle relaxers
If home remedies don’t work, your doctor may prescribe medication to help stop your tongue spasms. Muscle relaxers such as diazepam (Valium) or baclofen (Lioresal) can effectively relax the muscles and stop spasms. These medications should only be used as directed by your doctor and can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea.
- Undergoing nerve block therapy
Nerve block therapy involves injecting a local anesthetic into the affected area to numb the nerves and stop the tongue spasms. This method is typically only used if other unsuccessful treatments stop the spasms. Nerve block therapy is usually only done as a last resort due to the risk of side effects such as infection, bruising, and bleeding at the injection site.
Gargling with salt water
Gargling with salt water is a simple and inexpensive way to help treat and prevent tongue spasms. The salt helps to reduce swelling and inflammation, while the warm water can help soothe the muscles.
To make a saltwater gargle:
- Mix one teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water.
- Gargle the mixture for 30 seconds, then spit it out.
- Repeat as needed.
Applying a cold compress
Cold compress: Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. To make a cold compress, put ice in a clean cloth and apply it to the affected area for about 15 minutes. Repeat this process every few hours as needed.
Treatment will focus on the underlying condition if an underlying medical condition causes your tongue spasms. For example, if a viral infection causes tongue spasms, you’ll be treated for the infection.
If an injury causes your tongue spasms to your tongue, treatment will focus on repairing the injury. Surgery may be needed to repair a severe injury.
If an oral health condition causes your tongue spasms, treatment will focus on the oral health condition. For example, if your tongue spasms are caused by tooth decay, you’ll need to have the decay treated.
Your doctor may recommend treatment if an underlying medical condition causes tongue spasms. For example, if your tongue spasms are caused by dystonia, your doctor may prescribe oral or injected medication to help relieve your symptoms.
If your tongue spasms are not due to an underlying medical condition, your doctor may recommend oral or injected medication to help relax the muscles in your tongue. This can include botulinum toxin (Botox) injections, which can help relieve symptoms for three to four months.
Surgery is occasionally necessary to treat tetanus. There are two primary types of surgery that may be considered:
-Debridement: This is a procedure in which dead tissue and foreign matter (such as dirt or debris) are removed from a wound. Debridement is often performed to prevent infection.
-Tracheostomy: A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure in which a small incision is made in the neck, and a tube is inserted into the windpipe (trachea). This allows a person to breathe more easily.