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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Child feels `hairs` on tongue

01/18/2009

Question:

For a week now my 6 year old daughter has been dealing with a sensation like she has a hair on the front of her tongue and keeps trying to pull it off. After days of dealing with this and careful checking, brushing, scraping, etc. I am certain there is NO hair. But the sensation persists and she is upset and tired of messing with it. Her tongue looks perfectly normal and pink, no odd bumps or cracks, no white coating, etc. and she has no other symptoms. I`ve searched the web and cannot find a similar situation.

Answer:

Burning mouth syndrome is a harmless, but annoying, sensory neuropathy. This means that the nerves that supply information about various senses (pain, taste, texture) send information back to the brain that is incorrect. More information is provided in the link below.

Not everyone has all three nerve types affected, and your daughter may have the texture component only. Most patients who have this problem are middle-aged women, so your daughter would be one of the youngest persons ever to develop that condition. Sometimes viral infections can cause strange sensations before they erupt into blisters or sores, but I would think that after one week, the sores would have evolved.

To confirm this diagnosis, you should make an appointment to see an oral pathologist. This is the only specialty in dentistry or medicine that focuses on the diagnosis of oral diseases.

Related Resources:

Burning Mouth Syndrome

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Children) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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