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Glossitis

Overview

Glossitis is the medical term representing the inflammation of the tongue. This disease is also called smooth tongue, tongue inflammation, glossodynia, tongue infection and burning tongue syndrome. Under this disease, the tongue gets swelled up and it also changes colour. Papillae or finger like projections present on the surface of the tongue disappear and the surface may become smooth totally.


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Causes

Glossitis is basically a side effect of a secondary infection. This may occur when there is acute or chronic edema of the tongue of the patient. This disease may be due to presence of an underlying bacterial or viral infection, such as oral herpes simplex virus. The glossitis may also occur due to certain kinds of mechanical injury from teeth, burns while consuming hot food, etc.  Eating tobacco, spices and alcohol may also lead to this disease. Any kinds of allergic reaction due to dyes in candies, mouthwash, plastic in dentures, toothpaste may lead to this disease. Pernicious anemia, oral lichen planus, pemphiqus vulgaris, syphilis and iron deficiency anemia are few of the other diseases causing glossitis. Yeast infection and dry mouth may also lead to this disease.


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Signs & Symptoms

The patient suffering from glossitis has the following symptoms:-

  • The tongue of the patient may swell.
  • The papillae may disappear from the surface of the tongue.
  • The colour of the tongue may become beffy red or pale.
  • The tongue may also become tender and sore.
  • The patient may face difficulty in swallowing, speaking, and chewing.
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Prevention

Always try to avoid any food component that may be allergic to the tongue. Avoid the intake of extremely hot food. Drugs may also be administered to prevent the inflammation of the tongue. Maintain good oral hygiene to avoid infections by the microbes.


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Treatments
Conservative treatment Modern Medicine

The main aim of the treatment is to reduce the inflammation of the tongue. In severe cases the patient may require hospitalization. Good oral hygiene must be maintained to avoid glossitis due to infections caused by microbes. Medications such as antibacterial, antifungal and other antimicrobial may be given to the patient depending upon the kind of underlying diseases.

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