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Dental and Oral Health (Seniors)

Tongue problem

07/16/2008

Question:

My tongue is coated and swollen. It has developed `craters` to the point my family doctor was afraid part of it may actually fall off. I have been to 5 doctors and no one has ever seen this before. My taste is almost gone and hot drinks and spicy food are difficult. I did have a severe sinus infection and we thought it may be dripping infection onto the tongue. After surgery, my tongue only got a little better for about a week or so but quickly went back to bad. I had previously had an abscessed tooth extracted also. The sores are not healing - they seem to grow deeper and longer. I have had two biopsies, numerous tests and last week the otolaryngologist took about 14 viles of blood to send out for testing. This is going on 2 years now. I would love to hear from you - even just a suggestion to try.

Answer:

I would suggest that you make an appointment to see an oral pathologist. This type of doctor is the only one in dentistry or medicine who specializes in the diagnosis of oral diseases. You may also want to have the oral pathologist look at the slides of the biopsies that were done before he or she sees you.

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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