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Dental and Oral Health Center

Tongue problems

03/05/2008

Question:

I wanted to check one thing with you. A few weeks back, I got some cuts on my tongue, which was accompanied with some pain and burning-like sensation in my throat and where the throat meets the chest. This was limited to my tonge and nothing in my mouth or anywhere else. A few days later, the sensation went away and there was nothing. I didn't notice any ulcers on the tongue.

What could be the reason for this? Someone told me it could be stomatatis, but I am not diabetic and I'm not taking any antibiotics. However, I am going through some high annxiety times. What is worrying me is that this came back a few weeks later. This time the cuts on the tongue were much deeper and generally the tongue looked badly damaged. There was a mild white coating that didn't hurt, but could easily be scrapped off (no bleeding). I am getting worried since I read symptoms of mine are similar to oral thush which is associated with HIV.

Answer:

It would be impossible to tell exactly what is going on in this case without doing an examination. The "cuts" that you are describing could be simply a variation of normal called "fissured tongue". People with fissured tongue may develop a harmless condition called "geographic tongue" and that can sometimes have an annoying, irritated sensation. Geographic tongue tends to come and go. It is also possible that you had a brief episode of a condition called burning mouth syndrome. If you need confirmation of the diagnosis, you should be seen by an oral pathologist ideally.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University