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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Numb and Red Spots on Tongue

10/14/2010

Question:

Hi for the past 2 weeks i have been experiencing a numbness tingly feeling at the tip of my tongue and also little red spots, what can this be...?? Im also kind of losing my sense of taste.

Answer:

The little red spots are most likely filiform papillae, a normal feature of the dorsum of the tongue.

The redness may be related to some form of irritation or reaction to some form of trauma (rubbing you tongue on your teeth, biting your tongue, high acid content foods, thermal injury etc.)

The tingling could also be the result of trauma, especially at the tip of your tongue. The sensation you are describing could be related to irritation and associated abrasion from some form of trauma.

Since you are concerned, I would recommend that you have your Dentist or Primary Care provider evaluate the “tingling sensation problem. The taste disturbances could also be related to the irritation of the dorsum (top) of the tongue.
You may be more receptive to salt or bitter, or the opposite and may experience loss of taste sensation. Finally have you had a head cold or other season allergic problems in the past?

These problems could also exacerbate such responses and be directly related to your symptoms. 

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University