When a person is anxious, their body prepares them for a fight-or-flight response, triggering a wide range of physical changes. One of these changes is that the blood vessels constrict. This constriction reduces blood flow, which can cause numbness and tingling, especially in the feet and hands. It is also possible to experience tingling in the tongue.
A tingling tongue is a relatively common oral symptom. Although it can sometimes be due to physical issues, such as nerve damage, anxiety can also lead to tingling.
A 2015 case study reports on a 32-year-old man who had experienced tingling on the tip and right side of his tongue for 5 months. An examination revealed no physical cause.
Based on the man’s other symptoms, doctors diagnosed him with psychogenic lingual paresthesia, which is tingling in the tongue for psychological reasons, along with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder. The tongue sensation resolved after he began taking an antidepressant.
Sometimes, anxiety causes tics, which are sudden, uncontrolled, repetitive movements. Some tics, such as chewing or sucking motions, can injure the tongue.
Some injuries may lead to numbness, pain, or tingling. Although anxiety is ultimately the cause, it is important to seek medical treatment for the injury.