Glossitis: Causes and Methods of Treatment


Glossitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the tongue that occurs as a result of mechanical injuries, the vital activity of pathogenic microorganisms, and many other factors. The disease is accompanied by the appearance of uneven plaque, swelling, bad breath. It often manifests itself in combination with other dental and autoimmune problems. Some people can inherit this condition, but in most cases, this disease is caused by various environmental factors. Often glossitis develops for the following reasons:

  • Pathogenic microorganisms or viruses infect the mucous membrane of the tongue (for example, the herpes virus);
  • Burns and injuries of the oral cavity;
  • Poisoning with salts of heavy metals;
  • Improper oral hygiene;
  • Allergic reaction to drugs;
  • Mechanical injuries of the tongue resulting from wearing unsuitable prostheses or incorrect fillings.

Predisposing factors for the development of the disease are also bad habits, weakened immunity, the use of aggressive mouthwashes and other hygiene products.

Glossitis Signs and Symptoms

The glossitis symptoms vary from person to person. They may also depending on the underlying cause of the condition. However, the first clinical sign is the appearance of discomfort, burning sensation and sensation of a foreign body in the mouth. The progression of the pathological process may be accompanied by:

  • swollen tongue;
  • temperature rise;
  • increased salivation;
  • change in the texture and color of the surface of the tongue;
  • deterioration in taste sensitivity;
  • the appearance of bad breath.

In some cases, glossitis is accompanied by ulcerative stomatitis and other diseases. When diagnosing, the dentist takes into account the real clinical picture, compiled by examining the oral cavity, as well as patient complaints and test results. Quite often, cytological, histological and biochemical studies are required. To make a diagnosis, it’s necessary to examine the oral mucosa. It’s important to pay attention to local signs of inflammation, such as redness, swelling, changes in the surface of the mucous membrane, deposits. You can also take a smear to rule out a fungal infection, as well as the presence of a food allergy. However, it is also possible that there are no local symptoms. Therefore, you should be examined by a dentist, which will help identify the onset of the disease.

Symptoms usually disappear with good oral hygiene. This means brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, as well as daily flossing and water flossing. An anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving mouth rinse will also help relieve symptoms.

Types of Glossitis

Such inflammation is common and does not always manifest itself as symptoms, proceeding completely secretly from the patient. There are several forms and types of glossitis, depending on the duration, degree of damage or other forms.

  1. Acute glossitis. This is an inflammation of the tongue that comes on suddenly and often has severe symptoms. This type of glossitis usually develops during an allergic reaction.
  2. Chronic glossitis. This is an inflammation of the tongue that keeps recurring. This type may begin as a symptom of another health condition.
  3. Candidiasis. The defeat indicates the presence of a fungus in the body, as well as a noticeable decrease in immunity.
  4. Сatarrhal. The most common cause of such a glossitis is damage to the teeth. The main treatment for this type of disease is to eliminate the causes, that is, filling caries, removing tartar and adjusting the size of dentures.
  5. Atrophic glossitis. This type, also known as Hunter's glossitis, changes the color and texture of the tongue. This type of glossitis usually gives the tongue a glossy appearance.
  6. Desquamative. There is a lesion of the mucous membrane of the tongue with the formation of smooth, red spots with a white outline, which can mutate and migrate.
  7. Purulent. Manifested in the form of phlegmon and abscess. It is associated with infection and requires urgent surgical intervention. Manifested by severe pain, chills and swelling of the lymph nodes of the neck.

Glossitis Treatment

Each type of glossitis requires a specific treatment approach. To make a diagnosis and choose the most optimal glossitis cure, the dentist conducts diagnostics, which includes:

  • close examination;
  • history taking;
  • microscopic examination of tongue scrapings;
  • general blood analysis;
  • if necessary, general clinical and biochemical analyzes.

Patients are often prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the immediate symptoms of pain and swelling. The use of antiseptic solutions, antibiotics and a vitamin complex is not the whole list of possible manipulations. Often, glossitis treatment should begin with the elimination of the cause and the eradication of the disease that led to the disease of the oral cavity.

Treatments for glossitis vary depending on the cause. If the illness is caused by a bacterial, fungal, or yeast infection, a doctor or dentist may prescribe medication to relieve symptoms and treat the infection. A specialist can recommend a routine home treatment plan for symptoms of viral or genetic conditions. Also, it is recommended to change the diet and avoid spicy food, alcohol and tobacco.

Regardless of the glossitis causes, good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are important to prevent future mouth and tongue problems. It is important to remember that the best way to prevent the disease is to take full care of your own health. If the body or immune system fails, it is recommended to immediately seek the help of a specialist.

An important role in prevention is played by a full-fledged sanitation of the oral cavity, which includes high-quality caries treatment before it spreads to adjacent teeth. Also, regular professional hygiene in the dentist 's office will help to avoid the formation of tartar, which often causes catarrhal glossitis. Naturally, to prevent the development of the disease, a diet that excludes spices, spicy foods and alcohol will help. It is recommended to stop smoking tobacco, as well as to avoid thermal burns in every possible way.

Remember, if you have severe symptoms and notice a change in color, size, texture, or feeling on your tongue, contact your dentist to schedule an examination. Seeing a doctor early can help keep you healthy. With the right treatment and a set of measures, the symptoms of glossitis will disappear, and you can quickly return to your usual way of life.