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Glossitis: symptoms and treatment, photos, types of glossitis of the tongue

Inflammatory changes in the tongue make life difficult for the patient. Appetite disappears, banal tooth brushing becomes impossible, problems with speech appear.

The disease can develop independently or be the result of diseases of other internal organs. Consider what the problem is and why it appears.


Glossitis - what is it?

Glossitis is an inflammatory process of the tongue, developing under the influence of various aggressive external factors. The disease is accompanied by severe discomfort in the mouth and can occur in both acute and chronic form.


It occurs equally often in both adults and children. The cause of the disease can be:

  • Mechanical injury and damage. The injury of the tongue with teeth, foreign objects, false jaw or even with a banal toothbrush can lead to the appearance of microdamages that will become the basis of the inflammatory process.
  • Allergic factors. Food allergens, filling material, hypersensitivity to mouthwash and toothpastes can cause an allergic inflammation reaction.
  • Deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals in the body. So, with a lack of vitamin B12, Glossite Hunter develops. Iron deficiency and megaloblastic anemia can cause inflammation of the tongue.
  • Bacterial, viral and fungal agents. These microorganisms begin to show their pathogenic effect, especially in conditions of reduced immunity.
  • Some somatic diseases can cause inflammatory changes in the tongue. These include diabetes mellitus, diseases of the digestive tract, cirrhosis of the liver, HIV infection, systemic mycosis and others.

Thus, glossitis can cause more than twenty different causes, the most frequent of which are gastrointestinal diseases, allergies and the infectious process.

Symptoms of glossitis by species

Desquamative Glossite

Desquamative glossite photo

There are several classifications of glossitis. It is divided into acute and chronic. Chronic inflammation of the tongue is often found with constant contact with the allergen or the presence of diseases of the digestive system. An acute process usually causes injury or infection.

Depending on the reason that caused the development of pathology, the following are distinguished: traumatic, allergic, viral, bacterial, candidal glossitis.

Symptoms of glossitis

Given patanatomical changes allocate desquamative, folded, interstitial and other forms of inflammation.

Important! Desquamative glossitis is a form of inflammation of the tongue, in which it is covered with small scales. The second name of this form is “geographic language”. Occurs with permanent injuries of the tongue, prolonged stress or during hormonal disorders, for example, during menopause in women.

If the inflammatory process affects only the mucous membrane of the tongue, they speak of catarrhal inflammation. When the inflammatory process spreads to the lingual muscle, the catarrhal form can turn into purulent with the formation of an abscess or phlegmon of the tongue. This condition requires immediate surgical assistance.

The symptoms of glossitis depend on its cause. Most often the patient is concerned about the following complaints:

  1. Pain and difficulty in speaking, trying to eat.
  2. Puffiness of the lingual muscle.
  3. Burning and itching in the mouth.
  4. The tongue itself is red, inflamed, and may be covered with pus or whitish films (for Ludwig sore throat or pernicious anemia). With a deficiency of vitamin B12, the tongue becomes bright red, almost crimson, it glitters, as if covered with varnish.
  5. In mycotic lesions, the tongue is covered with fungal patches. The same raids are located on the tonsils, gums and the back surface of the pharynx.
  6. Severe swelling may lead to suffocation and a feeling of lack of air.

In parallel, the patient is worried about the symptoms of the underlying disease, which could cause glossitis: abdominal and liver pain, symptoms of anemia and intoxication of the body during an infectious process.

Glossitis in a child

Inflammation of the tongue in childhood is usually associated with trauma, food allergens or the action of aggressive substances. Small children tend to taste foreign objects and liquids to taste, which often leads to burns and damage to the delicate mucosa.

Chronic forms in children are less common and may be associated with hereditary predisposition or unhealthy diet.

Symptoms and treatment of glossitis of the tongue in childhood are similar to those of an adult, except that the baby cannot always tell about his complaints.

Such children often refuse to eat, begin to speak poorly due to discomfort in the mouth and severe pain.

Treatment of glossitis, drugs

Treatment of glossitis

The dentist deals with the treatment of glossitis of the tongue, but in the presence of concomitant diseases, a therapist, a gastroenterologist, an infectious disease specialist, and other specialists are involved in the treatment.

Glossitis therapy depends on the reason for development:

  1. In the case of an allergic variant, the inflammations eliminate contact with the allergen and use antihistamines.
  2. In case of traumatic injury, mouth rinses with antiseptic and healing solutions are recommended.
  3. When syphilitic glossitis conduct specific therapy.
  4. If the reason was a lack of vitamins and minerals, then first of all fill the deficit of these substances.
  5. In candidal glossitis, the patient’s immune status is tested and normalized and local antimycotics are used.
  6. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in combination with glossitis are treated with various groups of drugs (probiotics, sorbents, antibiotics for Helicobacter pylori , etc.).

Throughout the course of treatment, the patient is recommended to follow a chemically and thermally sparing diet in order not to injure the tongue mucosa in addition.

With the development of abscesses or phlegmon conduct surgical intervention and drain the purulent focus.

Folk Ways to Treat Glossitis

Traditional medicine is effective in traumatic glossitis or in the recovery period after an illness. Rinse with broths of herbal antiseptics (chamomile, string, calendula) is used.

For glossitis caused by the pathology of the digestive system, herbal preparations and teas are used, which normalize the work of the gastrointestinal tract (calamus, altea, plantain, etc.).

In the presence of ulcers or erosions, systemic allergies and other serious associated diseases, folk treatment should be coordinated with the attending doctor.

Prevention of glossitis

For the purpose of prophylaxis, it is not recommended to climb into the mouth with foreign objects, monitor your diet and regularly brush your teeth and tongue.

To prevent the development of inflammatory this area you need to control your diet, lifestyle and avoid stress. In addition, annual visits to the dentist and timely dental treatment will help to avoid this problem.

Glossitis is an inflammation of the tongue caused by various causes and factors. The disease is accompanied by itching, burning, and pain in the lingual muscle. As you can see, the symptoms and treatment of glossitis are related; without determining the type of the disease, it is impossible to prescribe adequate therapy and select effective drugs. The reason is fundamental in determining the method of treatment.

The prognosis for cure in most forms of glossitis is favorable.


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