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Glossitis is swelling of the tongue. The tongue looks smooth and may be an unusual colour from pinkish to dark red. Glossitis is often caused by an infection. Other causes include injury, irritation from tobacco or spicy foods, or a poor diet.
Glossitis can make it hard for you to talk, chew, or swallow, especially if you get sores on your tongue.
Treatment for glossitis depends on the cause. An infection is treated with antibiotics. Other medicines can relieve swelling and pain. If the swelling is severe, your doctor may prescribe steroids.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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