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What causes a red patch in the middle at the back of tongue?

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Posted on Sat, 19 Jul 2014
Question: Dear Doctor, I am 67 years. I have a red patch in the middle at the back of my tongue about the size of a 10 cent piece. It feels the same as the rest of my tongue. It has been there for 3 months and is not painful. I can fold my tongue and it it hurts a little. I asked my GP and he said it is not cancer. But I am concerned as it hasn't healed in this time and would like to know if it will go away or am I stuck with it. Thank you for your time. XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar (17 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Mucositis of tongue

Detailed Answer:
Hi

Thanks for posting the query: I will try my best to help you out with this query.

The description given by you seems to be of mucositis of the tongue. I doubt it to be cancer, as there has not been any change in size of the reddish patch or any growth seen over it.

If you could send me the photograph of the same, it will be easy for me to help you out with the diagnosis.

Secondly, if you could kindly furnish the details about any associated medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension or medications it will be of immense help.

Awaiting for your reply...

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Naveen Kumar (17 hours later)
Thank you for the information. I do not have any health issues other than mild high blood pressure for which I take Karvea 150g one tablet daily and my readings for 2 years have been normal. I am not overweight and eat healthly. I have tried to put a photo in this box by copy/paste but is not working. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you. XXXXXXX



doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Geographic tongue and glossitis

Detailed Answer:
Hi

Thanks for writing back and posting the image.

The lesion over the tongue is glossitis (inflammation of the mucosa of the tongue) due to the loss of epithelium or the outer layer of the tongue.

When I closely examined the image, I could see similar non-inflamed bald areas on the right side of the tongue. This is known as Geographic tongue, a harmless mucosal erosion.

Geographic tongue is characterised by irregularly shaped red, map-like smooth swollen patches on the tongue.

Although geographic tongue is benign (harmless) it may persist for months or longer, and often recurs. The red inflamed patch could be secondary to the geographic tongue.

Do not worry! This is not cancer. But, I would still insist you to keep a close watch on this. Drink plenty of water, take adequate fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid any irritating food (hot/chilled food and beverages).

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow up queries.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Naveen Kumar (1 hour later)
Thank you so much. I will not worry anymore, but I guess there is no treatment other than the info already given. No need to reply. XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar (11 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Wish you good health

Detailed Answer:
Hi

Welcome back

Wish you good health.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Naveen Kumar

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 2436 Questions

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What causes a red patch in the middle at the back of tongue?

Brief Answer: Mucositis of tongue Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for posting the query: I will try my best to help you out with this query. The description given by you seems to be of mucositis of the tongue. I doubt it to be cancer, as there has not been any change in size of the reddish patch or any growth seen over it. If you could send me the photograph of the same, it will be easy for me to help you out with the diagnosis. Secondly, if you could kindly furnish the details about any associated medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension or medications it will be of immense help. Awaiting for your reply... Regards Dr. Naveen Kumar N. ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon