The human tongue performs very many important functions, and its strong muscles are well adapted for this. Some of the functions include swallowing, assisting in chewing of food, speaking, tasting of food among others. However, when diseases of the tongue set in, the smooth functioning of the tongue is affected making it unable to properly perform one or more of its functions. Most of these diseases are common and easily treated while some can lead into serious complications if left untreated. Moreover, treatment of the diseases of the tongue normally depends on the specific type of the disease.
Geographic tongue is one of the common diseases of the tongue. With this disease, red patches that are very distinct usually develop on the tongue, though these do not cause any serious harm as such. The disease is brought about by loss of papillae of the tongue, which are the small bumps found on the surface of the tongue. The red patches normally cause discomfort due to soreness or burning sensations that come with them. The disease is hereditary in nature, though hormonal changes in the body is also known to be another contributing factor to the disease. Geographic tongue is treated by taking the appropriate medications. These include pain killers which can be bought over the counter, topical corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory prescriptions and zinc supplements.
The other of the diseases of the tongue is Leukoplakia, and this manifests itself as a sore on the tongue which if left untreated can later turn cancerous. The disease is also known to affect female genitals, and its main cause is chronic irritation. Treatment of the disease requires surgical operation so as to remove the lesions. As a control measure, a patient suffering form leukoplakia should not use alcohol and tobacco.
Taste disturbance is also another type of the diseases of the tongue. The cause of the disease could either be due to local factors or systematic factors in the body. Systematic causes of taste disturbance usually lead to tongue swelling. In such a case, emetic drugs are used to treat the disease.
The tongue can also succumb to speech disturbance complications. This type of the diseases of the tongue is usually manifested in the form of tongue heaviness and relaxations, where in both cases the tongue muscles are unable to coordinate speech. The main causes could be due to a brain complications or motor enervation problems, brought about by many factors including central and peripheral nervous system problems, accidents, larynx complications and so on. To treat this tongue disease means to treat the brain diseases first which are causing the problem. Additionally, one can also use mouth gargles as well as rinses to assist in the treatment. A special kind of preparation known as GWARSHEN preparation is also known to assist in treating this problem.
Other diseases of the tongue include tongue convulsions, ranula of the tongue which is caused by excessive mucous secretion, tongue shortness (ankloglossia), tongue enlargement (macroglossia), painful tongue (glossodynia) and oral cancer.
In summary, to treat diseases of the tongue, it is important to first diagnose the cause of the problem. If the cause is systematic, then a general treatment could also solve the tongue problem, and this requires a physician’s attention. However, if the cause is local, then local remedies such as ointments, gargles, tongue rubbers, drinks, mouth rinses, tongue creams and so on.
Sources and Citations
ALQANUNN Book by IBN –SINA