Tongue Problems (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Tongue basics
- What are common tongue problems?
- What causes tongue problems?
- What are the treatments for tongue problems?
- White tongue
- Red tongue
- Black tongue
- Increased size/swelling
- Abnormalities of the tongue surface
- Tongue movement
- What are common tongue problems in infants and children?
- What are common tongue problems in pregnancy?
- How are tongue problems diagnosed?
- What is the prognosis for tongue problems?
- Can tongue problems be prevented?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
Canker sores are commonly found on the tongue and can be very painful. They appear as a yellow-white center with a red halo. These ulcerations are thought to be caused by local injury, stress, or genetic predisposition; however, no definitive cause has been found. No treatment is usually necessary as these ulcerations generally resolve in less than 2 weeks.
Oral herpes is caused by the herpes virus and appears as fluid-filled lesions. These lesions usually resolve in 2 weeks time, but can also be treated with antiviral medications to shorten the recovery time.
“Burning mouth syndrome” is a phenomenon that often includes the tongue (often called “burning tongue”). It has been associated with other conditions which include menopause, anxiety, depression, nutritional deficiencies, and mouth conditions such as dry mouth or oral thrush. Treatment is usually for the underlying condition (for example antifungals for oral thrush, supplement for nutrition deficiencies, or medications to treat anxiety or depression).
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