Though human tongue is small but it plays a very big and influential role in human life. It is a part of oral cavity and partly it is situated in the pharynx. In context with its importance, imagine how you will feel if there is something wrong with your tongue. Often you may have seen your tongue in the mirror. It is the upper surface. However, seldom do we observe underneath the tongue, unless there is an issue.
Swollen gland under the tongue is one such tongue related problem that may worry you a lot.In fact glandular swelling anywhere in your body may cause worry. You are afraid if that swelling will turn out to be malignant. In all probability, swollen gland under the tongue is the result of swollen salivary gland. There are tiny salivary glands in the mouth, located in different regions. Salivary glands produce saliva which keeps the mouth moist. It also helps in chewing as well as swallowing of food. This salivary gland is sublingual gland. It is situated just below the tongue. Besides, there are many other causes for swollen gland under the tongue.
What Can Cause Swollen Gland Under Tongue?
Swelling of salivary gland is the prominent reason for glandular swelling under the tongue. Salivary gland can swell due to two major reasons. Firstly, it is the infection and second is an obstruction in the salivary duct through which saliva comes out in the mouth. Salivary duct is a small tube.
Salivary gland may become swollen due to viral infection. It is the condition called ‘Mumps’. Nowadays the problem has become obsolete disease due to radical use of primary vaccination for mumps. However, in developing countries it is still a contagious disease that needs an attention.
Salivary gland can swell when there is a stone blocking the salivary duct. Formation of stone in such small gland still remains an unsolved question. However, people who have this problem may complain of swelling under their tongue.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to bacterial infection and inflammation of the salivary gland. People with weak immune system may be at a greater risk of suffering from this problem.
Any tumors of salivary gland, either benign or malignant can lead to swelling in the tongue.
People addicted to tobacco chewing may have swollen gland under their tongue. It may be a sign of oral cancer.
Veins under the tongue may become irritated and swollen due to exposure to cold and heat.
Canker sores under the tongue can result in swelling of glandular tissue situated under the tongue.
Natural Treatment Options
Before beginning the treatment an attempt should be made to find the cause. Moreover, addressing the cause will reduce the swelling.
If the cause is swelling of salivary gland, following home remedies may be effective.
- Drink water and keep your mouth moist. It will activate the salivary glands and reduce the swelling.
- You can also drink fruit juices as they will also accelerate salivary secretion and reduce the blockage.
- Avoid substances known to cause dehydration and dryness in mouth. Avoid too much of caffeinated drinks. Avoid tea and coffee. Avoid drinking alcohol when you have swelling under your tongue.
- Avoid drinking extremely hot and cold beverages.
- Salt water gargling helps to alleviate swelling under the tongue caused due to cancer sores, or due to salivary glands.
- Stop chewing tobacco. Also stop smoking cigarettes.
- Suck an ice cube for few minutes it will reduce the swelling under the tongue.
- If serious disease is suspected, consult your doctor.