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Mouth Diseases

Sore Tongue



Hi, My father`s tongue is paining from the right side inside the mouth. And his tongue has turned to brown color. He is an excessive smoker from past 30-35 years. Please advise what are the causes of the pain and how this pain can be treated? Do we need to consult ENT or dentist for the problem? Please advise.


The brown color is probably the result of extrinsic stains from coffee, tea, smoking or sometimes certain types of bacteria (Chromogenic bacteria). In some case the tongue can become coated and or the covering of the tongue (papilla) can elongate potentiating the staining process (similar to a sponge soaking). Because of the unilateral pain complaint and 35 + pack year history of smoking, I would have your father evaluated by either an ENT physician or Oral Surgeon or Oral Medicine specialist relatively soon to rule out the possibility of oral cancer.

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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