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Loss of taste, white film on tongue, headache, metallic taste in mouth, canker sores, itchiness

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1992
Answered : 332 Questions
I am a 46 year old male in good health, rarely ever see a doctor. For about a month now I have been having these very strange symptoms that seemingly came out of nowhere. It started with a loss of taste on my tongue. I had developed some white film on my tongue and lost a lot of taste in my mouth. This has since improved greatly but I still have a feeling of a burn't or scalded tongue at times. Coupled with this is a headache in the back of my head. A dull ache that I can barely tell is there in the morning and then seems to get progressively worse throughout the day. I also sometimes have a metallic taste in my mouth. Along with the headaches and tongue I have sores (canker sores) that occasionally appear. I have one right now under the tip of my tongue. I have also had them on the inside of my cheek or on my tongue( a diffferent looking reddish spot) these all go away after a few days. I have not had any breakouts outside my mouth. Lastly I seem to have more of a itchiness in certain areas My mouth at times and also in my genital areas. There are no bumps or real rash that I can see, no discharge, no burning, just an itchiness in my scrotum and around. No difference in skin color. So to sum it up i seem to have 4 symptoms. Mouth sores, headache, tongue burning, very slight and itchiness. Thanks
Posted Mon, 17 Sep 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 2 hours later
The mouth sores and the burning sensation in the tongue could be due to a vitamin deficiency while the headache could be a tension headache etc. But we would need to rule out other causes as well. So please oblige by answering the following questions:
a.     How the symptoms has progressed in last one month-- are they same, worsening or improving with time
b.     Any history of similar illness in past
c.     Any history of altered bowel movements or gastrointestinal upsets
d.     Are you on any medication
e.     Any history of diabetes or hypertension
f.     Any history of allergies in past
g.     Have you ever been ever under treatment for a chronic illness
h.     Were you ever been hospitalized in past?
i.     Have to undergone any surgery in past
j.     Any travel history
k.     Are you sexually active.
l.     Do you practice safe sex
m.     Have you ever used tobacco products in past If yes - how much
n.     Do you take alcohol If yes How much
o.     Have you ever used recreational drugs
p.     Can you elaborate on your dietary habits?
q.     Do you feel that recently you are under some kind of stress at work place or at home

Awaiting your reply to make this discussion more fruitful.
With warm regards
Ravinder Sharma

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Loss of taste, white film on tongue, headache, metallic taste in mouth, canker sores, itchiness 1 hour later
Questions A symptoms are the same if not slightly better
b. No

C stools are soft.
D no medications
E no
F allergy's yes occasionally. Hay fever
G no
H no
I no
J yes, we travel often mostly Europe
K yes. Married 23 years
L yes
M no
N occasionally
O no
P diet consists of yogurt, grains, bread, meats such as chicken and beef, vegetables, coffee. I know I eat too many sweets :).
Q nothing out of the ordinary

Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 1 hour later

Thanks for providing the additional details.

On the basis of information gathered I would like to tell you that
1. Burning sensation of tongue and reddish spots of cheeks are commonly caused by nutritional deficiency of vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Stress ulcers and oral thrush (fungal infection of oral cavity)
2. Loss of taste sensation can be because of atrophic taste buds, side effect of some drug intake or nutritional deficiency, Inflammation in oral cavity (Stomatitis), etc.
4. Headache which increases as the day progresses is suggestive of tension headache or stress headache
5. Itching sensation in oral cavity and skin may be a manifestation of allergy / skin infection. Besides that stress may also cause itching sensation.

When we combine all the symptoms it appears that you have some kind of nutritional deficiency or anxiety or tension which may be representing with the above mentioned symptoms.

Multiple symptoms may also be suggestive of somatoform disorder; but before suggesting this as a diagnosis it is mandatory to get an ENT consultation done for clinical examination. Clinical examination and some tests (blood test and Allergy test) is the key to diagnosis.

In the present scenario, I would suggest you an ENT consultation so that we can think of a probable diagnosis. I hope this answers your query. Do let me know if you need further help about it.

With regards
Ravinder Sharma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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