Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Glossitis Overview

What is glossitis?
A person with glossitis has inflammation of the tongue. Symptoms include redness, swelling and pain in the tongue. Usually, glossitis resolves with treatment of the underlying cause. Common causes for glossitis include allergic reactions, anemia, vitamin deficiency, viral infection, bacterial infection, fungal infection, and drug side effect.

What are the symptoms of glossitis?
Symptoms of glossitis include tongue pain, tongue redness, and tongue swelling. Other symptoms include hairy tongue, tongue sore, tongue ulcers, and white patches on the tongue.

How does the doctor treat glossitis?
Treatment for glossitis may include good oral hygiene, saltwater gargles three times per day, tongue brushing three times per day, antibiotics, and vitamin supplements.

Continue to Glossitis Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Glossitis References
  1. Assimakopoulos D, Patrikakos G, Fotika C, Elisaf M. Benign migratory glossitis or geographic tongue: an enigmatic oral lesion. Am J Med. 2002 Dec 15;113(9):751-5. [12517366]
  2. Bohmer T, Mowe M. The association between atrophic glossitis and protein-calorie malnutrition in old age. Age Ageing. 2000 Jan;29(1):47-50. [10690695]
  3. Byrd JA, Bruce AJ, Rogers RS 3rd. Glossitis and other tongue disorders. Dermatol Clin. 2003 Jan;21(1):123-34. [12622275]
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