Tongue Swelling

Tongue swelling, also known as “macroglossia” or “glossitis,” refers to an enlargement or puffiness of the tongue beyond its normal size. There are various reasons why the tongue might swell, and some common causes include:

  1. Allergic reactions: This is one of the most frequent causes of tongue swelling. Allergies to foods, medications, or insect stings can lead to a swollen tongue. Severe allergic reactions, known as anaphylaxis, can cause rapid and significant tongue swelling along with other symptoms like difficulty breathing and a drop in blood pressure.
  2. Infections: Viral or bacterial infections like oral thrush (a fungal infection), cellulitis, or other oral infections can cause tongue swelling.
  3. Trauma or injury: Accidental biting, burns from hot foods or beverages, or any physical injury to the tongue can result in swelling.
  4. Inflammatory conditions: Certain conditions like oral lichen planus, which is an inflammatory disorder affecting the mucous membranes, can lead to tongue swelling.
  5. Genetic conditions: Some genetic disorders, such as hereditary angioedema or Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, may cause tongue swelling.
  6. Underlying medical conditions: Conditions like hypothyroidism, amyloidosis, or certain types of cancer can also cause the tongue to swell.

When experiencing tongue swelling, especially if it’s sudden, severe, or accompanied by difficulty breathing, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention as it could indicate a severe allergic reaction or another potentially life-threatening condition.

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