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Pea sized nodule in tongue, painful, affecting speech, tooth pain, jaw pain, glossitis

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Posted on Fri, 18 May 2012
Question: Hi, I am a 31 year-old female 5'7" 120 lbs. I have a hard pea-sized nodule that has appeared inside my tongue, near the midline and toward the front. It has gotten bigger throughout the day and become increasingly more painful. It is affecting my speech and causing tooth and jaw pain now. I have noticeable swelling on the affected half of my tongue as well as some visible redness directly over the lump. Additionally, I am recovering from a mild cold, sore throat, and pink-eye (not sure if that's related). What could this be, and should I go to the ER or make an appt. with my doctor in the morning?
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Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti (26 minutes later)
Dear XXXXXXX

Thank You for your query.

1. A painful tongue nodule with tenderness, heaviness in the tongue and difficulty speaking, swallowing and chewing is a sign of glossitis.
2. This may be infection because there is a change in color. It will usually not be cancerous.
3. Is there a change in the texture of the swelling? Is it smoother than the rest of your (normal) tongue? Is your tongue coated? Did you accidentally bite your own tongue?
4. Do you have any swelling at the corners of your mouth? If so, then this is known as angular cheilitis and then the eye symptoms may be related. This is usually due to deficiency in Vitamins especially B2 . B6 and anemia.
5. If your discomfort is not severe, you may schedule a routine appointment with your doctor who may require to prescribe you antibiotics, anti-fungals, medicated gargles, pain killers, steroids and other supportive medication. If your discomfort is severe, do not hesitate to go to an ER. The tongue is a very vascular organ and infection may spread quickly.
6. Remember to avoid any food or drink which irritates the tongue and to correct any nutritional deficiencies which can give rise to such a condition. Maintain good oral hygiene. Glossitis responds well to treatment.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Sumit Bhatti

Otolaryngologist / ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2658 Questions

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Pea sized nodule in tongue, painful, affecting speech, tooth pain, jaw pain, glossitis

Dear XXXXXXX

Thank You for your query.

1. A painful tongue nodule with tenderness, heaviness in the tongue and difficulty speaking, swallowing and chewing is a sign of glossitis.
2. This may be infection because there is a change in color. It will usually not be cancerous.
3. Is there a change in the texture of the swelling? Is it smoother than the rest of your (normal) tongue? Is your tongue coated? Did you accidentally bite your own tongue?
4. Do you have any swelling at the corners of your mouth? If so, then this is known as angular cheilitis and then the eye symptoms may be related. This is usually due to deficiency in Vitamins especially B2 . B6 and anemia.
5. If your discomfort is not severe, you may schedule a routine appointment with your doctor who may require to prescribe you antibiotics, anti-fungals, medicated gargles, pain killers, steroids and other supportive medication. If your discomfort is severe, do not hesitate to go to an ER. The tongue is a very vascular organ and infection may spread quickly.
6. Remember to avoid any food or drink which irritates the tongue and to correct any nutritional deficiencies which can give rise to such a condition. Maintain good oral hygiene. Glossitis responds well to treatment.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

Regards.