What is Tongue Twitching?
The tongue is a muscle and like other muscle in the body, it can be prone to twitching for benign reason such as fatigue, stress, dehydration, and mineral imbalance. Tongue twitching often called lingual dystonia. “Dystonia” refers to any involuntary muscle contraction, and “lingual” means having to do with the tongue.
What Cause Tongue Twitching (Tongue Spasm)
There are varieties of factors that may be the cause of tongue twitching or spasm of the tongue.
- Tongue twitching can have a host of causes. Commonly seen causes for the condition include: Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or nerve impairment due to stroke.
- Movement disorders such as dystonia or Meige’s syndrome, which cause involuntary muscle contractions, may set off tongue spasms as well.
- Occasionally, it could be a side effect of certain anti-psychotic drugs. Sometimes spasms of the tongue may be idiopathic, i.e. there may not be any known or ascertainable cause.
- pinched nerve,
- benign fasciculation syndrome,
- thyroid gland over activity
- Mineral deficiency such as magnesium deficiency and B vitamin deficiency can affect muscle movement. It can but in rare instances cause involuntary spasm of tongue.
What Causes Involuntary Tongue Contractions
Twitching of voluntary muscles is very common though it is rather uncommon in the tongue. Twitching of the tongue or tongue fasciculation causes is due to involvement of lingual nerve. Lingual nerve may get affected due to local infection like:
- pharyngitis or URTI
- known or unknown trauma
- nutritional deficiency
- some kind of growth
- involvement of higher neural center
- irritable nerve or muscle fibers
- Stress and anxiety can bring tongue twitching anxiety. A person who is much stressed may have twitching of muscles. In most cases it is involuntary twitching. It is prominently observed in eyelids, leg muscles. However, in rare cases it may also be seen in tongue.
What are the Main Symptoms of Tongue Twitching?
Tongue spasm symptoms are easy to recognize. This condition’s main symptom is including:
- tongue movements that occur in all directions
- difficulty for speaking and swallowing
- symptoms of tongue spasm increases when they are stressed or while they are speaking
- symptoms of tongue spasm decrease when people are relaxed or sleeping
How to Treat a Twitching Tongue
Treatment options may be available for the disorder, depending upon the precise cause of the spasm. Certaintwitching tongue / tongue spasm treatment include:
- Drugs to deal with tongue spasm are sedatives that help decrease the involuntary twitching of the tongue muscle.
- Some experts advocate Botox to manage the case effectively. Botox may be used to paralyze the muscles of the tongue in order to avert involuntary convulsions of the tongue.
- Multiple sclerosis, stroke and cerebral palsy need proper assessment and treatment; and once these conditions are in control, you can manage the problem about tongue spasm.
- Stop Consuming Medicine that cause your Tongue Twitching worsen: You can manage your condition by steering clear of medicines than can worsen your condition
- Stress management: You can deal with your tongue spasm by trying to control your stress to successfully manage the condition without medicines.
- Get a Support Groups: Support groups are also available for people who have tongue spasm. People find Yoga, Pranayama, Tai Chi and meditation decidedly beneficial in tackling stress successfully and consequently managing the spasm of the tongue.
- Stay Hydrated: When you’re dehydrated, your muscles may spontaneously fire off. Tongue twitching can be the result of not getting enough fluids.
- Eat a Balanced Diet: Muscle twitching can be due to a diet that isn’t balanced. Make sure that you’re getting all your vitamins and minerals.
- Physical therapy: physical therapy can help strengthen existing muscles
- Acupressure and acupuncture are alternative methods which are known to correct the spasm of tongue in many cases though it may take time.
- Surgery: Surgery is thought of when there is blockage or pressure on certain nerve which sends messages to tongue.
How to Diagnose Tongue Twitching?
The tongue is a muscle and like other muscle in the body, it can be prone to twitching for benign reason such as fatigue, stress, dehydration, and mineral imbalance. A common way to evaluate muscle twitches is with electromyography (EMG). This test stimulates a nerve with a small amount of electricity. Then it records how the muscle responses. Doctors may also evaluate overall health and risks for fasciculation with:
- blood tests
- other nerve tests
- a thorough neurological exam, including tests of muscle strength
- a thorough health history, including psychiatric problems, physical symptoms from stress, and quality-of-life concerns
Is it Bulbar ALS(Lou Gehrigs Disease)?
Most individuals who suffer from tongue twitches believe that they have bulbar ALS. The answer to this is ambiguous. Tongue twitching is considered as a variation of ALS that begins from the tongue. Additionally, the Bulbar ALS is a progressive disease that gets worse with time. Other reasons that help you rule out the possibility of tongue twitching being Bulbar ALS
- Nasality and loss of volume are frequently the first symptoms.
- The ALS comes with other symptoms that lead to the inability to speak as well as difficulty in swallowing. Therefore, if you find that the only problem you have is tongue twitching, but you don’t have problem swallowing or talking, then you are not suffering from ALS..
- Individuals suffering from the ALS would have problems controlling secretions, difficulty in chewing and issues when swallowing food.
ALS symptoms are constant and often become worse day by day. Therefore, when you find that this is not happening to you can relax knowing that you are not suffering from Bulbar ALS.
Reasons Why Tongue Twitching is Not Always a Bulbar ALS
Tongue fasciculation in the setting of ALS are usually within the bulk of the tongue muscle which is weak, partially or markedly atrophied (wasted away), and noticed on a careful examination by a physician. The initial symptoms of ALS may be different between persons afflicted with this condition although most patients (about 60%) experience muscle weakness as the first symptom. Usually the patients that we see who have tongue fasciculation have the typical signs and symptoms of ALS that has significantly progressed (prominent weakness and muscle wasting).
The tongue fasciculation are NOT the presenting symptom unless they are accompanied by markedly slurred or even absent speech, difficulty moving the tongue due to atrophy and weakness, and profound difficulty swallowing.
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