Tongue Fasciculations Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Fasciculations, also known as muscle twitches, are spontaneous, involuntary contractions and relaxations of tiny muscle fibers. They are extremely prevalent, with as many as 70 percent of people reporting having experienced them at some point. They could be benign or linked to more severe illnesses. When there is no known cause or disease, they are called benign fasciculation syndrome.

Up to one-third of ALS patients experience tongue fasciculations. Fasciculations happen as a result of processes that partially denervate muscles subacutely. They are frequently seen in cases with neuropathies (motor neuron diseases). The best way to see fasciculations is with the patient lying on his or her back or stomach with his or her arms and legs at rest. 

When examining the tongue for fasciculations, it is important to do so with the tongue resting on the floor of the mouth. Active tongue protrusion can produce false fasciculations that are difficult to distinguish from genuine ones. Fasciculations are brief, fleeting contractions that can be seen in the affected muscle's abdomen. 


Twitching, tingling, or numbness in the muscles that does not go away is the most prominent symptom of benign fasciculation syndrome. These symptoms manifest themselves when the muscle is at rest. When a muscle contracts, the twitching stops.

People are frequently concerned that fasciculations are connected to a serious neuromuscular illness such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It's important to remember that ALS can cause symptoms other than fasciculations.

Tongue Fasciculations Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Fasciculations are the most prominent signs and symptoms of benign fasciculation syndrome. In ALS, fasciculations are associated with other complications such as growing weakness, inability to grasp small items, and difficulties in walking, speaking or swallowing.


It is believed that benign fasciculation syndrome is caused by an increased level of activity in the nerves that are related to the twitching muscle. Often, the etiology is idiopathic, which means it is unidentified.

According to certain studies, fasciculations may be related to:

  • A traumatic experience, 
  • Anxiety, or Panic Disorder 
  • Excessive physical exertion, 
  • Caffeine or alcohol consumption, 
  • Tobacco consumption
  • Viral Infection


There is no effective treatment for benign fasciculations. In particular, if the trigger is identified and removed, they can resolve on their own. Pregabalin, gabapentin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and others that reduce nerve excitability have provided relief in some individuals.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a class of drugs that doctors occasionally recommend for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Counseling is another potential remedy.

Massage and stretching activities might be helpful in reducing the severity of cramps. The use of immunosuppressive therapy with prednisone may be prescribed by doctors in cases where the cramps are severe and no other treatment is helpful.

In cases of severe muscle twitches that significantly impact everyday life, medical professionals may explore other therapeutic options.

Tongue Fasciculations Causes, Symptoms, Treatment Tongue Fasciculations Causes, Symptoms, Treatment Reviewed by Simon Albert on September 12, 2022 Rating: 5
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