Diseases of the Tongue

Mayumi Kamaguchi*, Hiroaki Iwata, Takuya Asaka, Yoshimasa Kitagawa

*Corresponding author for this work


The tongue is a complex organ with sensory papillae and muscles involved in gustation, mastication, deglutition, as well as speech. The tongue can be sites of neoplasms, infections, and an indicator of systemic diseases. This chapter describes the Clinical findings, Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Etiology/Pathophysiology, and Management of the tongue diseases. The chapter includes Fissured Tongue, Median rhomboid glossitis, Geographic tongue, Black hairy tongue, Macroglossia, Vascular malformation, Sublingual varices, Amyloidosis, Hunter glossitis, Strawberry Tongue, Cowden disease, Acanthosis nigricans, Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis. Fissured tongue is clinically characterized by the presence of grooves or fissures on the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the tongue. Median rhomboid is characterized by the central papillary atrophy of the tongue. Geographic tongue is characterized by erythematous lesions with filiform papillae atrophy, surrounded by white limited areas on the tongue. Black hairy tongue is characterized by elongated filiform papillae with hairy appearance of the dorsal tongue. Macroglossia is characterized by a tongue that is large in proportion to other structures in the oral cavity. Vascular malformation of the tongue present as a pulsatile mass on the tongue. The clinical findings of Sublingual varices are multiple, irregular, blue-purple blebs on the ventral and lateral border of the tongue. Localized amyloidosis of the tongue manifest as nodules or papules located in the dorsum or the edge of the tongue. Hunter glossitis is characterized by a burning, smooth and atrophic red tongue mainly caused by the deficiency in vitamin B12. Strawberry tongue is characterized by the prominence of inflamed and hypertrophic filiform papillae together with hyperemia. Oral lesions of Cowden disease show papillomatosis or a cobblestone pattern on the mucosa. Oral Acanthosis nigricans is characterized by extensive papillomatosis with an irregular acanthosis. Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis patients have and ulcers on the oral cavity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiseases of the Oral Mucosa : Study Guide and Review
Number of pages12
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Publication date01.01.2022
ISBN (Print)9783030828035
ISBN (Electronic)9783030828042
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)
  • Centers: Center for Research on Inflammation of the Skin (CRIS)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-19 Dermatology
  • 204-03 Medical Microbiology and Mycology, Hygiene, Molecular Infection Biology


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