Causes of sores on the tongue include stress tissue injury, certain foods, sharp teeth and braces, according to WebMD. Sores on the tongue can also be the result of medical conditions such as an impaired immune system, a vitamin B12 deficiency, celiac disease and Crohn's disease.
Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin for the metabolism, and a deficiency occurs when a patient does not consume enough foods rich in vitamin B12 or is unable to absorb the vitamin properly, notes MedlinePlus. In addition to sores on the tongue, symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include weakness, tingling in the arms and legs, anemia and loss of balance.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive system and occurs when the body's immune system attacks the intestinal lining after a patient consumes gluten, explains Cleveland Clinic. Doctors do not know the cause of this condition, which leads to symptoms such as severe skin rashes, seizures, anemia and sores in the mouth. Patients with celiac disease note a significant improvement in their symptoms after they follow a gluten-free diet.
Crohn's disease involves an ulcerated and inflamed intestine, according to Cleveland Clinic. The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown, but doctors speculate that genetic factors contribute to its development. Patients with the condition experience severe symptoms intermittently, and they include chronic diarrhea, fever, weight loss and bleeding from the rectum, in addition to sores on the tongue.
Inflammation can occur due to Moeller's glossitis or Behçet's disease, which is inflammation of blood vessels, according to WebMD. Enlarged papillae, which is inflammation of the taste buds, may also result in inflammation of the tongue. Median rhomboid glossitis can lead to an infection on the tongue, causing sores. Anemia and diabetes can also trigger the problem. Other infections that make the tongue sore include syphilis, oral herpes virus infection and strep infection, notes Healthgrades.
A woman beyond menopause may experience burning tongue or mouth syndromes, which are conditions that may cause tongue sores, explains WebMD. Just like biting, scalding and teeth grinding can result in sores forming on the tongue. Dentures that do not fit properly, prosthetic teeth, spicy foods and canker sores are also potential causes of tongue sores, notes Healthgrades.
Certain mouthwashes and oral cancer can lead to sores on the tongue, adds WebMD. Pemphigus vulgaris, a condition that causes blisters, may also induce development of painful bumps or sores on the tongue. A person who suffers from sores that last for more than two weeks should seek medical attention.