Glossitis of the tongue - photo, causes and treatment

Inflammation of the tongue - glossitis, may be the result of many factors. There is a place for both injuries and pathogens. The term glossitis can be used to designate changes in the surface of the tongue, which occur under the influence of a lack of vitamins, anemia, acute infection, certain types of dermatosis, as well as abnormalities in the structure of the tongue.

Sometimes chronic glossitis can form. This is facilitated by the frequent and long-lasting effect on the tongue of chemical irritants, the injury of the tongue by the sharp edges of fillings or prostheses, destroyed teeth. The chronic course of the disease provokes dysbacteriosis, reduced immunity.

Taking into account the main causes of the disease, treatment of glossitis is almost always based on eliminating the underlying cause of the infection, which minimizes the likelihood of other common oral diseases.


Why does glossitis appear, and what is it? The inflammatory process affecting the tissues of the tongue is called glossitis. This term refers to all pathologies of the language, including those that are not inflammatory. Glossitis can manifest itself, but basically it is a sign of any disease of the body.

The causes that can cause glossitis are quite varied:

  • infectious agents, they are most often represented by bacteria and viruses;
  • injuries of the tongue as a result of burns (hot drinking, biting the tongue, the effect on the tongue of poor-quality fillings, orthodontic structures, etc.) .;
  • local allergic reactions (toothpaste, food colors, etc.);
  • anemia;
  • deficiency in the body of vitamins B, E, iron;
  • eating disorders;
  • endocrine diseases (diabetes);
  • AIDS (candidal and herpetic infection).

Chronic glossitis occurs as a result of injury to the tongue by the pointed ends of the destroyed teeth, the sharp edges of the fillings or prostheses, the frequent and prolonged effect on the tongue of the electric current, and chemical irritants. Chronization of glossitis contributes to the reduction of local and general immunity and dysbacteriosis, as well as the body conditions in which autoantibodies are formed.

Glossitis symptoms

The symptoms of glossitis in the tongue are so obvious that it is simply impossible to miss them. In addition, if you study the photos of patients, you can understand that the manifestations will be visible externally, as they affect the color and shape of the tongue.

The main signs of glossitis in adults:

  • mouth smells unpleasant;
  • when chewing the tongue hurts;
  • a tickle and sensation of a lump appears in the throat;
  • the mucous membrane swells;
  • salivation increases;
  • sometimes reddish specks may appear on the tongue;
  • discomfort in the mouth;
  • tongue becomes sedentary and dry.

If glossitis is not treated, then it becomes chronic. In chronic glossitis, the tongue swells strongly and firmly, its very structure changes. When running forms of glossitis in the tongue grow mushroom growths.

When glossitis is complicated by phlegmon, swelling of the tongue and suppuration become more pronounced and spread to the bottom of the mouth and neck. Pain syndrome increases, the process of eating is complicated, until the patient completely refuses to eat. Speech and breathing are difficult; asthma attacks are possible. The general signs of intoxication with glossitis complicated by cellulitis become more pronounced: the regional lymph nodes increase, the temperature rises, and weakness appears.


Depending on the symptoms, different forms of glossitis are distinguished in the language:

  1. Desquamative glossite. A characteristic feature of this disease is a "geographical" language, which has a pinkish-red "motley" appearance, which resembles the contours of continents on a geographical map. Places of exfoliation, desquamation of the epithelium are called desquamation sites. The reason for the development of desquamative glossitis is the deterioration of the nutrition of the tissues of the mucous membrane of the tongue, due to which they peel off. Usually desquamating glossitis is not accompanied by complaints. Sometimes there is a feeling of light tingling, most often with the localization of lesions on the lateral surfaces or the tip of the tongue. Often, desquamating glossitis develops with exudative diathesis, blood diseases, digestive organs, metabolic disorders, helminthic invasions, in pregnant women.
  2. Folded glossitis is a congenital pathology of the tongue. It is expressed by folds in the tongue, with the deepest fold extending longitudinally along the middle line of the tongue. This form of glossitis does not cause discomfort, therapeutic measures are required only with a large number of folds and are carried out for aesthetic purposes.
  3. Purulent phlegmy glossitis. Inflammation extends to the deeper layers of the body, as well as beyond. At the same time, you can feel enlarged submandibular lymph nodes, which are also involved in the process. Also, the patient feels a general malaise, the body temperature rises to high numbers and lasts until a positive trend occurs in the treatment of pathology. This form of glossitis sometimes requires surgery and mandatory antibacterial therapy.
  4. Villous glossitis manifests itself by the growth of papillae filamentous form with further keratinization. This form of glossitis occurs with frequent traumatization of the tongue and candidiasis. Also, villous glossitis can trigger some medications and smoking.
  5. Diamond-shaped (median) glossitis - occurs against the background of low acidity of gastric juice, which is caused by chronic diseases of the digestive system. On the surface of the tongue, thickening of the epithelium of bright red or bluish color appears. Diamond-shaped glossitis is dangerous in that it often turns into a chronic form and has a relapsing nature. Depending on the intensity of the inflammatory process, therapeutic measures may require surgery or the use of radiosurgical methods.
  6. Reflux (deep) glossitis affects all layers, as well as nearby tissues and areas (cheeks, lymph nodes). With this form, an abscess is formed, all signs of inflammation are noted, an abscess may begin.
  7. Ulcerative form most often develops after catarrhal (if the disease is not treated). In this case, ulcers form on the surface of the tongue, which can bleed if injured. Edema becomes more pronounced.

Bright and specific clinical manifestations of glossitis enable the dentist to establish the diagnosis upon visual examination. To determine the nature and depth of the lesion, as well as to identify the disease that caused the glossitis, apply biochemical, histological, bacteriological, serological and cytological diagnostic methods.

Glossite - photo

As glossitis in the language looks like, we offer for viewing detailed photos of the symptoms.

How to treat glossitis in the tongue?

Depending on the cause of glossitis in the language, the final treatment regimen is determined. As for the general treatment recommendation, the experts will recommend the following:

  • constant rinsing of the oral cavity, especially after eating, brushing your teeth at least twice a day;
  • avoiding too hot, spiced, spicy food, irritating and so damaged mucous membrane;
  • mashed potatoes, ground soups and viscous porridge - the daily diet of the victim from glossitis.

To reduce pain during eating, the patient is shown pureed soups, mucous porridge and various mashed potatoes. Before and after meals, as well as during the day, mouth rinsing with Furacilin solution, a weak solution of potassium permanganate or 0.05% Chlorhexidine solution is shown. If pain is pronouncedly pronounced during glovitis, then they resort to anesthetic applications - a 2% solution of Trimecain, Pyromecain or Lidocaine. If there are signs of dryness of the tongue, the surface of the tongue is smeared with a mixture of anesthesin and glycerin to reduce pain.

In the treatment of glossitis of the tongue folk remedies are widely used herbs that have anti-inflammatory effects: chamomile, sage, calendula medicinal, etc. On the basis of these herbs, decoctions are prepared for rinsing the mouth.


Glossitis is easier to prevent than to treat with drugs, so we want to list a few simple rules that will minimize the risk of an inflammatory process:

  • be sure to follow the hygiene of the teeth and mouth;
  • brush your teeth in the morning and evening with the toothpaste that your dentist will recommend;
  • prevent injury to your teeth, gums and mucous membranes;
  • conduct regular check-ups with an experienced dentist;
  • do not abuse nicotine and alcohol;
  • discard too spicy foods.

When the first signs of glossitis appear, you should immediately consult a doctor, because the earlier the treatment is started, the faster the glossitis will be cured.

Watch the video: Geographic Tongue - Clinical features, Histopathology and Treatment (April 2020).


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