Glossitis is the inflammation of the tongue.

The tongue swells and changes color. It can affect speech, chewing, and swallowing.

Types of glossitis:

1-Atrophic or Hunter glossitis:

The tongue is red, smooth, and glossy. It is a result of vitamin B12 deficiency.

2-Geographic or benign migratory glossitis:

Geographic tongue is an inflammatory but harmless condition affecting the surface of your tongue.

The tongue is covered with white patches resembling a geographical map.

Several causes have been proposed: emotional stress, psychological factors, habits, allergies, diabetes, and hormonal disturbances.

3-Median rhomboid glossitis:

It is characterized by an area of redness on the central dorsum of the tongue.

4-Herpetic glossitis:

The lesions are round and defined.


1-Allergic reaction to toothpaste, mouthwash, food, medication.

2-Bad oral health.

3-Low salivary secretion.

4-Fungal infection.

5-Vitamin B12 deficiency.


7-Mouth trauma.

Inflammation may occur because of cuts and burns on the tongue or dental appliances like braces placed on your teeth.

8-Diseases that affect your immune system can affect the tongue. Herpes is an example.   

How long does it last? 

Usually, glossitis disappears after a few days.

If it persists for more than 3 weeks, it is advisable to consult a doctor.


Treating glossitis requires treating the cause of the inflammation.

-Vitamin B12 in case of deficiency.

-Antibiotics to get rid of infections.


-Topical corticosteroids can be prescribed to reduce redness and soreness.

-Artificial saliva to keep your mouth lubricated.

-Avoid anything you’re allergic to.

-Brushing your teeth improves the health of your tongue, gums, and teeth. This can help relieve the symptoms associated with glossitis and prevent the condition from happening again.

-Avoid smoking and drinking.


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