My sore bitter tasting tongue
February 27, 2009 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Why is my taste bitter and my tongue has some sore white spots?

10 days ago, Wedensday, I ate dinner and after dinner my tongue felt like it was burned. This burning soreness continued for days and gradually my taste changed. Usually a burned tongue is cured in 24 hours. By sunday my taste buds was hyper sensitive and some food with Provance spice tasted like the hottes chilli and orange juice tasted like bitter lemon juice.

This continued for a few days and then gradually got better. Today, Saturday, most of the taste has returned to normal, but the white spots is still there and is still a bit sore.

From my research I have onlye gotten som vague hints that it might
be some kind of virus that you can get at the same time that you have a cold. I had a sore throath for a couple of days, but nothing serious. I could still do my work out routine.

So even if I should be good after this weekend I wonder if anybody knows or have experienced the same thing. This is the first time for me.
posted by Grums to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Oh oh oh, my ex-girlfriend had a similar thing. It was called Geographic Tongue. Weird name eh? Some mildly gross pictures inside.
posted by number9dream at 4:13 PM on February 27, 2009

I was under the impression Geographic tongue is a genetic physical thing, like being double jointed. Maybe I'm wrong. I was told I have it, but it doesn't give me any trouble/symptoms other than a rather weird-looking tongue.

I've burned my tongue really badly once and it hurt for a week.

White bumps can be a symptom of tongue cancer though, so I'd show it to your doctor/dentist if it doesn't go away.

posted by np312 at 5:24 PM on February 27, 2009

Could be an allergic reaction.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:56 PM on February 27, 2009

It sounds a lot like Herpes Stomatitis (ianad)
posted by originalname37 at 7:09 PM on February 27, 2009

Don't know what it is, but I can verify it is NOT geographic tongue (I have it). Won't change taste sensations.
posted by thatguyonmf at 7:50 PM on February 27, 2009

Best answer: Geographic tongue is a benign condition, likely genetic, that can come and go, but mostly you have it and you have it and that's that (its official name is benign migratory glossitis). It may be that you've had it and never notice until now, but that doesn't sound like what you are describing. It is not herpes stomatitis, because that affects the gums, lips and mucosa, but not the tongue.
this is a case of occam's razor, the most likely explanation, that the changes you are experiencing are most likely related to the simplest cause, is the burn. if the condition persists you should see a dentist (physicians don't know much differential diagnosis where oral lesions are concerned).
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:54 PM on February 27, 2009

Are you under a lot of stress or on any kind of stimulants? If so, you could be experiencing stress-related vitamin B12 deficiency, which is known to cause sensations of burning in the mouth, white sores on the tongue and gums, and changes in taste.

It also might be some weird kind of food reaction. I always knew I was allergic to raw pineapple--but when I ate a couple of underripe kiwifruit, my taste buds started to bleed. It scared me to death, and took me a couple of weeks to get back to normal. Ugh, no fun.
posted by aquafortis at 11:09 PM on February 27, 2009

You might have REALLY burned your tongue, no idea what was in your food that could have done that. But from this article on why toothpaste makes things taste terrible afterwards, I could surmise that you really stripped your tongue down with something and broke up the phospholipids on your tongue (which inhibit the receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us.) So bitter tastes are enhanced.
posted by lizbunny at 9:25 AM on February 28, 2009

This is similar (but not identical) to what happens to me if I eat anything with pine nuts in it. I basically lose my sense of taste, and my mouth is filled with a slightly metallic taste for several days. It is similar in feeling to having burned my tongue on hot coffee/pizza/etc. I have always assumed it is an allergic reaction.
posted by chr1sb0y at 11:22 AM on February 28, 2009

It could it be thrush (an oral yeast type infection).
posted by in the methow at 11:45 AM on February 28, 2009

I had a similar feeling - like I'd burnt my tongue. It was sensitive and painful - I felt like my teeth had all gotten sharper. My dr. suggested glossodynia - also sometimes known as burnt tongue syndrome. She said the white spots on my tongue were normal, though I didn't think so (at least not normal for me). Anyway, after doing some reading, I stopped chewing gum, and the burnt feeling and white spots went right away.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:09 PM on February 28, 2009

This happens to me all the time. It doesn't usually last that long, but my dentist, doctor and nutritionist have all told me I have geographic tongue. I have a nickel allergy and metal sensitivities in general, so my nutritionist told me to eat with non-metal silverware to see what happens. So it could be that.

But the tongue is an indicator for all sorts of things - hormone imbalance, cancer, etc. So perhaps having a medical professional examine it if it comes back would be a good idea.
posted by anniek at 11:55 PM on February 28, 2009

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