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Why are the flaps of skin swollen and painful under tongue?

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Why are the flaps of skin under my tongue swollen I have an infection in the bottom of my mouth from my tooth I'm on antibiotics but the swelling is getting worse and the flaps of skin under my tongue are swelling as well it hurts to move my tongue

Posted Tue, 20 Nov 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Geoffrey Ward 3 hours later
Thank you for your question.
There are many different anatomical features under your tongue that can represent flaps. Based on your description and not seeing it in person/feeling the area I cannot diagnose you. Most likely the flaps you are referring to are the Wharton's ducts which are the salivary ducts that travel under your tongue and produce saliva. Why are you taking antibiotics? What dose are you taking? How long have you been taking it? Who prescribed it for you? Most of the time, the swelling is caused by a clogged salivary duct. When these ducts clog, the clogged material calcifies and becomes what is known as a sialolith or a salivary stone. This stone blocks the saliva from draining from under your tongue. The duct will continue to expand until the pressure is relieved. You should go to your dentist to have him do a full soft and hard tissue evaluation to determine if this is what has caused the swelling.

If this is the cause, he will have to milk out the stone to relieve the pressure, or marsupualize (cut open and leave open) the duct to get the stone out and relieve the pressure.

If the infection is from a tooth, then you are getting what is called a space infection. This type of infection can be life threatening and is best addressed by a dentist or oral surgeon. You will need to have an incision and drainage to relieve the pressure, remove the pus and the infection. If this goes on for a continue time you can actually have your throat swell closed due to Ludwig's angina or bullfrog throat where the infection expands making your neck look like a frogs and closes the airway. Since I don't know why you are on antibiotics, what type or for how long, these are the two main reasons why this swelling occurs.

If you have any further questions please respond, I am here to answer you questions.


Dr. Ward
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