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Glossitis

Karyn M. Sullivan, PharmD, MPH and George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, FACP Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • An acute or chronic inflammation of the tongue, either as primary disease or a symptom of systemic disease

  • Common forms:

    • Atrophic glossitis (AG) or Hunter glossitis or smooth tongue

    • Ben...

DIAGNOSIS

  • Many cases are asymptomatic.

  • BMG symptoms tend to wax and wane.

  • GT lesions are characterized by migratory pattern.

HISTORY

  • Oral discomfort

  • Burning sensation on tongue (often associated with nutri...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Usually outpatient

  • Avoid any possible sensitizing irritants or agents (such as acidic or spicy foods and drinks).

  • Analgesics when needed

  • Request dental evaluation.

  • Scrupulous ora...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

If lesions do not heal, biopsy is indicated. 

Patient Monitoring

  • Revisit periodically when needed until healing occurs.

  • A detailed oral examination is recommended in...

REFERENCES

1
Terai H, Shimahara M. Atrophic tongue associated with Candida. J Oral Pathol Med.  2005;34(7):397–400. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Byrd JA, Bruce AJ, Rogers RSIII. Glossitis and ot...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Codreanu F, Jarlot S, Astier C, et al. An apple a day … chronic glossitis in a 4-year-old boy. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol.  2012;44(2):86–88.

  • Demir N, Dogăn M, Koç A, et al. D...

SEE ALSO

HIV/AIDS; Vitamin Deficiency 

CODES

ICD10

  • K14.0 Glossitis

  • K14.4 Atrophy of tongue papillae

  • K14.1 Geographic tongue

  • K14.2 Median rhomboid glossitis

ICD9

  • 529.0 Glossitis

  • 529.4 Atrophy of tongue papillae

  • 529.1 Geographic tongue

  • 529.2 Median r...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • An acute or chronic inflammation of the tongue, either as primary disease or a symptom of systemic disease

  • The most common forms are as follows:

    • AG or Hunter glossitis: smooth, glossy, r...

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