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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Red itchy patches on sides of tongue

12/09/2008

Question:

Hi, was hoping you could give me an idea what this is because I have no insurance i have not seen a doctor yet. I am 38 years old. About two months ago i had a feeling as if there was something stuck on the very back of my tongue maybe swollen taste buds or somthing, since then the very back of my tongue has this burning feeling, I have been coughing up some nasty smelling stuff and I also have little red patches of bumps on each side of the back of my tongue (lingual tonsils maybe)that are very red irritated. I hope you can give me an idea what this is.

Answer:

From your description it is very difficult to diagnose your problem. The red bumps on the posterior sides of the tongue could be normal but you have never noticed them before. The coughing up material could come from some type of an infection.

Even though you do not have insurance, it would be good for you to visit a physician to rule out a strep infection or some other type of infection. You may need to be treated with a course of antibiotics.

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Response by:

D Stanley Sharples, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University