What To Do If You Have A Sore Tongue After Drinking Alcohol?

Sore Tongue After Drinking Alcohol

Heavy drinking often accompanies a sore tongue, hoarse voice, and hangover symptoms. But ever thought, why is it so?

Drinking alcohol is known to cause inflammation in the vocal cords as well as cause dehydration. As a result, the mouth and tongue feel dry. Moreover, a Sore tongue is a symptom of a reaction to alcohol or some allergy. So, if you are experiencing one, it is recommended to use an antimicrobial mouthwash, take care of oral hygiene, apply ointments, and, yes, stay well hydrated. 

But what else? So, let’s toggle through the article and find What To Do If You Have A Sore Tongue After Drinking Alcohol?

Why Do You Have A Sore Tongue After Drinking Alcohol?

Although treating a sore tongue is our main concern today, it is better to know the culprits and the cause behind it so that we can treat the sore tongue better. So, here are a few common factors that cause sore tongue 

Canker Sores

One of the prime causes of sore tongue is canker Sores. These are concave ulcers with red-pigmented regions around them. 

Canker Sores usually appear on the tongue about 12 hours after drinking. So, if you feel a sore tongue the following morning after drinking, probably the ulcer Sores are already there.

They are usually white in color, with the surrounding inflamed region bringing red. You feel a tingling sensation on it. 

Moreover, canker Sores take nearly 7 to 21 days to subside. However, luckily, they aren’t contagious. 

Dry Mouth

Another culprit that leads to a sore tongue after drinking is a dry mouth. The problem is that alcohol is diuretic. As a result, it expels maximum fluid out of the body, including saliva. Consequently, there are fewer salivary glands secretion in the mouth, leading to a dry one.

Now, saliva has a strong antimicrobial action, thus, helping protect the mouth from bacterial attack.

But due to dehydrating nature of alcohol, the mouth and tongue are at an increased risk of getting infected and also contribute to the onset of a sore tongue.

Folic Acid Deficiency

Similarly, people with frequent alcohol consumption are known to have less Folic Acid in their mouth and less Folic Acid absorption in the intestine. And people with less Folic Acid or vitamin B3 are at greater risk of developing sore tongue after drinking alcohol. 

Tongue Inflammation (Glossitis)

Another known cause is Glossitis. In it, the tissues of the tongue become inflamed, and the tongue becomes swollen. It is mostly due to excessive alcohol consumption and dry mouth. Some of the symptoms are:

  1. Glossy tongue
  2. Sore tongue
  3. Redness 
  4. Tingling
  5. Pain while eating

In short, all the causes are interrelated to each other in one way or another.

Treating A Sore Tongue After Drinking Alcohol

Once you have a sore tongue, you surely can’t revert it. However, there are some treatments and remedies that you can opt for to say bye-bye to Sore tongue and other ill symptoms. These are:

Treatment for Canker Sores 

For those suffering from canker sores, the best treatment is to opt for antibiotics and proper medication. For example, it is advised to wash your mouth regularly with hydrogen peroxide, or use an antimicrobial mouthwash, that helps reduce pain, sore tongue, and inflamed tissues. Moreover, apply ointment containing corticosteroids. 

Treatment Of Dry Mouth

If you are experiencing a dry mouth and sore tongue, it’s probably due to less water (dehydration). In that case, drinking lots of water and fluids is advised to overcome the loss. Moreover, chew sugar-free gum. It helps to stimulate saliva flow in your mouth.

Artificial saliva can also be used. You can buy one from medical stores and use it to avoid dehydration and microbial attack.

Take Folic Acid 

Folic Acid deficiency not only causes sore tongue but has other side effects on the body too. Therefore, you should increase the uptake of folate-rich food like green vege, cauliflower, Kiwi, etc., that are rich in Folic Acid and thus act as a good replacement.

Secondly, opt for vitamin B supplements, too, as Folic Acid is nothing but its synthetic form.

Glossitis Treatment

If you have recognized Glossitis as the root cause of the sore tongue, you must take more prescription medicines to ensure rapid recovery.

These include taking antibacterial ointments to avoid redness and avoiding food and smoking to prevent flare up.

Apart from these, a general recommendation to help treat sore tongue rapidly is avoiding spicy food. Instead, opt for simple food. Consume lots of fluid, and take care of oral hygiene. Moreover, apply honey over the sore tongue. It helps relieve the pain and takes deglycyrrhizinated licorice as it has mucosal healing properties.

How to Prevent A Sore Tongue After Drinking Alcohol?

If you are habitual of drinking alcohol, but don’t want to experience a nasty sore tongue often, here are a few tips that you can opt for to prevent its recurrence:

  • Drinking lots of fluid before and after drinking alcohol as it prevents dehydration and, thus, solves a major problem. 
  • Remove spicy food consumption from your body completely to ensure better digestion.
  • Keep care of your oral hygiene to reduce the chances of antimicrobial infections like antiviral or antibacterial. 
  • Keep mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide with you.
  • Take Folic Acid and vitamin B supplements. 


So, next time you experience a sore tongue after drinking alcohol, there is nothing to stress upon. There are multiple cures to go for. For example, you can opt for creams and ointments that can help you treat ulcers and soreness. Similarly, take care of your oral hygiene and add folic acid supplements to your daily diet. 

All these will help to treat sore tongue and overcome the associated pain.

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