It may be burning mouth syndrome, which is more common in older women. The burning sensation may be constant or sporadic, sometimes accompanied by a bitter or metallic taste. There's often no identifiable cause, but sometimes burning mouth syndrome is the result of an underlying medical condition, such as an infection, diabetes, or vitamin deficiency. Treatment varies, depending on the cause.
Either method can help. Do it in the morning, after you eat, and before bed. Such cleaning decreases bacteria on the tongue that are largely responsible for bad breath, along with food particles and volatile sulfur compounds. Pay special attention to the back of the tongue. You can buy an inexpensive metal tongue cleaner at the drugstore or just use your toothbrush.
If your tongue suddenly swells, it may be anaphylaxis, a dangerous allergic reaction (seek medical help immediately). Whitish or yellowish plaque may indicate a fungal or bacterial infection; bright or dark red coloration, a folate or vitamin B12 deficiency. White patches that are also on your inner cheeks or bottom of your mouth may be leukoplakia—a precancerous condition. Lumps, sores, or ulcers that don’t heal may be oral cancer.