It is quite possible that the sensation you're currently feeling is a result of teeth grinding at night (bruxism
). If you've been under elevated stress, and/or getting insufficient sleep, then oftentimes, your body will respond negatively. For most people, the immune system becomes weaker, they fall ill more easily, stress level increases, and for some unknown reason, patients tend to grind their teeth in their sleep.
And the poor tongue oftentimes becomes the unfortunate victim, being partially chewed upon by the grinding teeth. The lateral surfaces (sides) of the tongue oftentimes will appear to have white ripples along the length of the tongue. And naturally, the tongue would feel like its swollen, or experience a slight burning sensation along with a slight loss of taste.
The good thing is (assuming that you're not a habitual teeth grinder) there's nothing that needs to be done. Get enough rest, try and reduce your stress levels and most of the time, patient will stop grinding their teeth during their sleep. However, if this persists for another 3-4 weeks, and we're able to link this specifically to teeth grinding, then you may have to get a custom nightguard fitted. The nightguard won't prevent you from grinding, but it will offer a smoother surface for the opposing teeth to glide upon, and there's less chance for your tongue to get caught between the nightguard and your teeth.
It will usually take a few days for the tongue to fully recover (after you've stopped grinding) so don't expect to feel completely better overnight.
JulXXXXX XXXXX, DDS