Tongue swelling commonly occurs as a result of infections, allergic reactions and trauma, according to Healthgrades. Conditions such as Down syndrome, hypothyroidism and tongue cancer also cause tongue inflammation.
Infections that can cause tongue inflammation include syphilis, herpes simplex virus and yeast infections, notes Healthgrades. Food allergies and anaphylactic allergic reactions can also lead to a swollen tongue. Allergic reactions to certain drugs, such as penicillin, and reactions to insect bites, such as bee stings, can also cause tongue swelling. Trauma that causes tongue swelling includes tongue biting and tongue burn resulting from substances such as hot and spicy foods.