Tongue diseases can be congenital or acquired, and are multiple in number. Some examples of tongue diseases and disorder are discussed below:
Glossitis is a general term for tongue inflammation, which can have various etiologies.
Examples of congenital disorders which affect the tongue include:
Complete absence of the tongue at birth
Ankyloglossia (tongue tie)
Ankyloglossia, present at birth, is most commonly referred to as “tongue-tie” and occurs when the lingual frenulum is too short to allow for normal tongue movements.
Hypoglossia is a congenitally short tongue.
Macroglossia is an abnormally large tongue, seen in some disorders such as Down syndrome (although macroglossia can be an acquired condition as well).
For example, osseous choristoma of the tongue, a very rare condition characterized by a nodule on the dorsum of the tongue containing mature lamellar bone without osteoblastic or osteoclastic Cartilaginous (chondroid), and glial choristomas may also very rarely occur on the tongue.
Cleft tongue (bifid tongue) – completely cleft tongue is a rare condition caused by a failure of the lateral lingual swellings to merge.
More common is an incompletely cleft tongue, appearing as midline fissure. This is normally classed as fissured tongue.
Black hairy tongue
Some factors thought to cause black hairy tongue are environmental, such as eating a soft diet, poor oral hygiene, smoking and antibiotic use.
Geographic tongue (benign migratory glossitis)
Geographic tongue (benign migratory glossitis) is a common disorder which occasionally causes a burning sensation but is usually painless. Irregular patches of depapillation form on the tongue giving the appearance of a map. The cause is unknown.
Leukoplakia – can affect the tongue
Food debris, desquamated epithelial cells and bacteria often form a visible tongue coating.
This coating has been identified as a major contributing factor in bad breath (halitosis),which can be managed by brushing the tongue gently with a toothbrush or using special oral hygiene instruments such as tongue scrapers or mouth brushes.
Burning mouth syndrome
This chronic pain disorder commonly involves the tongue.In reflection of this, some of the synonyms for the condition include tongue-specific terms such as “glossodynia” or “burning tongue syndrome”.
Burning mouth syndrome is characterized by chronic burning sensation on the tongue and other oral mucous membranes in the absences of any identifiable signs or causes.