Tingling Tongue

The Truth Behind a Tingling Tongue

Have you ever had a tingling tongue? You would probably know if you have, because it is a pretty memorable feeling.  Our body’s nervous system is wired to transmit signals to our brain at the speed of light.  Most of the time, it works just fine.  When it does not, however, it lets us know right away that something is amiss.  Usually this will come in the form of sensations experienced all across the body, such as “tingling”, “pins and needles” (like when your leg falls asleep), “burning”, or “creeping” of the skin.  Tingling tongue is one such sensation that can affect your body and will be explored further in this article.


Your nervous system consists of billions of nerve cells that form your nerves – those tiny filaments all over your body that transmit signals to and from the processing centers in the brain.  Your tongue, like everything else in your body, has nerves it in that can detect and relay pain, injury, or any other abnormal condition that affects it.  Tingling in your tongue is a symptom and a byproduct of this interaction between the nerves in your tongue and your brain.  Therefore, understanding this interaction is a key to understanding the condition as a whole.

Generally speaking, odd sensations of tingling are collectively known as paresthesia.  Everyone experiences parasthesia at some point, most commonly when our limbs “fall asleep” due to a pinched nerve.  This is not indicative of any serious condition or permanent damage, and goes away quickly.  Chronic parasthesia, however, is possibly a symptom of something that is wrong with your body and must be addressed as soon as possible.

What are some causes of a tingling tongue? The more routine, everyday, minor causes of this condition could include oral infections or teeth that irritate your tongue.  The tingling you experience that is caused by these conditions goes away relatively quickly and does not pop up that frequently.  Tingling is more pronounced and prevalent, however, with chronic parasthesia. There are a variety of serious conditions that could have a tingling tongue as a symptom, ranging from the relatively-minor ones to ones that require prompt attention from a medical professional. One of the less serious conditions is a B12 deficiency.  B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that helps to regulate nervous functions in your body. Too little of it can result in parasthesia, which in this case is a way your body lets you know that you are missing a vital ingredient. To remedy this, take B12 supplements and see your doctor about injections if it is a serious deficiency.

Hypocalcemia is another frequently cited cause of a tingling tongue.  This term refers to a shortage of calcium in the blood, and can cause a litany of conditions, of which your tongue tingling is a symptom. A doctor can make recommendations for your diet and treatment for hypocalcemia.

The most serious condition that can result in this symptom, however, is multiple sclerosis. This frightening illness occurs as a result of your immune system attacking your brain and spinal cord, which causes your nervous system to malfunction. Sufferers of MS do not just feel tingling in the tongue or other body parts; they also experience a wide range of unpleasant and disabling mental and physical symptoms that can make life incredibly difficult. Therefore, MS is a condition that is not to be taken lightly. Your tingling tongue could very well be a product of this serious disease. If so, you will need to see a physician as soon as possible. While there is no cure for MS, it is possible to treat some of its symptoms to make your life a bit more manageable.

In conclusion, parasthesia in your tongue can be indicative of a serious condition. Most of the time, though, it is minor and will go away.  If you are still concerned, see a doctor who can help you diagnose and treat the causes of this annoying symptom.