The reason why we don’t consciously recognize the presence of the tongue inside our mouth is because it has a dedicated space that is big enough to fully accommodate it, but if and when it becomes swollen, suddenly we feel it all the time as it gets in the way of our teeth and, if too severe, even makes breathing a bit difficult.
The tongue obviously performs a lot of important functions for us, such as allowing the sense of taste, assisting the food we eat by guiding it down the throat, and enabling us to formulate words. That is why any problems with it are bound to cause you some concern.
Why Did It Happen?
There can be many reasons why your tongue has suddenly decided to increase in size. One of the most common causes is trauma. According to doctors, since the tongue is surrounded by teeth, it can very easily become traumatized if it comes into consistent or aggressive contact with them.
Also, if you wear braces or have any other similarly rough installations inside of your mouth, chances are that they have slightly injured your tongue and it is now swollen as an attempt to recover and heal.
The tongue is so sensitive that it can even become irritated simply because you ate something too spicy or with sharp edges. That is why you need to be careful and get rid of any sharp edges that may be disturbing your tongue.
Also, the products you use to clean your mouth could be causing a reaction as well, especially the mouthwash. A swollen tongue could also be the consequence of an allergic reaction to certain foods such as nuts or shellfish, or medication including anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin.
What Should You Do?
Many times, it is difficult to ascertain the cause behind the swelling, as you could be living your life as normally as possible without having made any changes, only to find your tongue swollen after you wake up in the morning.
Thankfully, at least most of the time, the reason behind it is not serious at all, so you probably don’t need to worry about it unless, of course, it is a serious one.
But you should still observe a few factors pertaining to the swelling such as the speed with which the swelling is taking place, or the intensity of the swelling, and whether it is making you dizzy or inducing feelings of light-headedness, because in cases where the swelling happens fast and/or very intensely and causes dizziness, a visit to the emergency room must be made right away as this can be life-threatening, in the worst-case scenario.
Also, you should go to a medical professional if the swelling does not subside in around 10 days, or you have started to experience other symptoms such as fever or fatigue. Consulting a doctor is necessary in such cases as there might be a more serious underlying cause requiring prompt and specialized treatment.