Tongue Problems (cont.)

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Increased size/swelling

Swelling or enlargement of the tongue, referred to as macroglossia, can be caused by allergies, medications, injuries, or an underlying medical condition such as amyloidosis. Addressing the underlying condition is the usual treatment for macroglossia.

Reaction to medications as well as substances such as food or a bee sting can be related to a true allergy (involving the immune system). Tongue swelling may also be a side effect of medication. Some medications that have this side effect are ACE inhibitors (to treat high blood pressure) and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Aleve, Advil, and aspirin.

An injury from hot food or liquid that burns the tongue or simply biting the tongue can inflame the tongue and cause swelling as well.

Oral thrush and herpes viruses can cause swelling. Other underlying medical conditions include cancer, acromegaly (giantism), amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, hypothyroidism, or Kawasaki disease. Tongue swelling is also linked to those with Down syndrome.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2013

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