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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Cuts and Pain in Tongue and Throat

01/11/2010

Question:

My tounge has been causing me pain for the past three days. Today it is so bad that drinking water actual feels extremley unpleasant. Only thicker drinks such as milkshakes and yogurt seem to soothe my throat. When I look at it the side of my tounge back by my molers is cut up with a cut that looks almost like a hole and then a white sore next to it that looks like a canker sore. My throat is red on the right side. I am taking Motrin to try and help with the pain and it helps for about ten minutes and then the pain comes back full force. I am not sure what is wrong.

Answer:

Without being able to physically examine you I can only surmise what may be occurring and hypothesize on the causes.

Have you had this evaluated by your dentist or primary care provider?


Are you febrile (running a temperature)? Does anyone else in your family or circle of friends have similar complaints? Has this occurred in the past or similar symptoms but not as severe? Are you on any medications or have you taken any other over-the-counter medications lately, such as aspirin, Tylenol, diet pills, herbal remedies, etc., in addition to the Motrin? Do you have a history of "cold sores"?


My first consideration would be that what you are describing is viral-induced such as Herpes Simples infection. Other viral infections may produce similar symptoms, but HSV infection seems to fulfill the majority of your self-reported symptoms.

Another possibility would be Aphthous Ulcers which is a T cell-mediated inflammatory disease that can produce ulcerations on the tongue and buccal (cheek) and labial (lip) mucosa origin. It should be noted that you could have both conditions simultaneously.

My major concern is the fact that the pain involved has affected you ability to drink and eat. For this reason I would strongly suggest that you have this condition evaluated.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University