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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids

Painful and recurring ulcers/sores on tongue.



Dear Doctor: My 12 year old son has started developing very painful sores on the tongue. We have consulted several doctors and specialists to no avail. He keeps getting various size sores. Start out as tongue swelling, then open out and then ends. Repeats continually and has been very discouraging in otherwise excellent and healthy boy. Doctors have also prescribed sort of plastic covers for the teeth to stop teeth from causing tongue sores. Nothing has helped. We are really worried and would really appreciate your response.



It would be impossible to say exactly what this problem is, based on your description. Conditions such as benign migratory glossitis (geographic tongue) and recurrent aphthous ulcers (canker sores) would have to be considered. More information about these disorders can be found at the website http://www.aaomp.org/.

Ideally your son should be evaluated by an oral pathologist. Oral pathology is the only specialty of medicine or dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and management of oral disease exclusively.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University