Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Inflamed Tongue Anatomy

To better understand glossitis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the mouth and tongue.

The back of throat is also referred to as the pharynx. More specifically, the pharynx is the back, upper part of the throat behind the tongue. It starts at the base of the tongue and ends at the larynx.

Anatomy examples:

  • Normal pharynx in an adult
  • Normal pharynx in a child
  • Normal tongue

The tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue in the back of the throat. They are located on both sides of the throat, near the base of the tongue. The tonsils generally shrink over time. At puberty, the tonsils are normally about the size of an almond.

Anatomy examples:
  • Normal anatomy of the pharynx
  • Normal tonsils in a child

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Inflamed Tongue 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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