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Tongue (sore)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Sore tongues fall into three main categories:

  • the result of recognisable disease:
    • glossitis of anaemia e.g. B12 or folate deficiency
    • Crohn's disease
    • coeliac disease
    • carcinoma

  • geographic tongue - benign migratory glossitis

  • physically normal tongue:
    • a full blood count eliminates anaemia as a cause
    • if all is normal a psychogenic cause - particularly a masked depression - should be considered

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