Macroglossia tongue-pictures, causes, symptoms, treatment

One of the rare, but very unpleasant disease is the macroglossia of the tongue. Will provide photos to help you with this problem, as well as tell you about the causes, symptoms and treatment of this disease.

That happens most often in infancy due to some congenital factors or in adults as an allergic reaction to a stimulus. In any case, to ignore such symptom is not necessary, as the impact of the increase tongue can be very sad.

What is it?

The phenomenon of macroglossia is considered anomalous form of development language and has a pathological character. When this organ becomes thickened, enlarged and partly or completely protrudes beyond the mouth, so as not to fit inside.

By changing the structure of it can be covered with wrinkles, become rough, to block the airway, interfere with the chewing of food and looks rather unpleasant to be around.

In the result, the patient is suffering from physiological difficulties and impaired social adaptation that leads to psychological problems.


► Acute and chronic

The intensity of occurrence of macroglossia may acquire acute or chronic. So, the acute form becomes the result of active hemorrhage in lingual tissue, infectious diseases or allergic manifestation.

Why do I get chronic form? Most often it is a secondary symptom of various pathological processes in tuberculosis, down’s syndrome, myxedema, amyloidosis, syphilis, etc.

► Localized or generalized

Lokalizovannye disease is formed due to problems with blood flow, blood vessels. The reasons for this can be hemophagia or lymphangioma, and outwardly it looks as a swelling at the front of the body, or at its very root. Often such a form of disease, affects young children. If it is added to the infectious diseases, its size increases much faster.

General (generalized) form appears as a result of the failure of the whole organism. Call that can macroglossia syndrome Beckwith-Wiedemann, hypothyroidism, hemihypertrophy and other serious diseases. In this case, the language is increased as a whole or only one side.

► Congenital or acquired with age

Congenital abnormality is observed in the fetus during the mother’s pregnancy and treatment begins immediately after birth. Although there are such reasons of a General or local character, when the increase of the language appears only in the adult.


Causes of macroglossia

The main factors of the disease are congenital abnormalities and diagnosed in babies:

  • a benign tumor that appeared during intrauterine development of the fetus;
  • idiopathic diseases with muscle hypertrophy of the tongue;
  • various pathological effects on the body of the pregnant woman, as an acute infection, radiation, alcohol intoxication, etc.;
  • congenital genetic disorders;
  • cysts of the oral cavity during the formation of the muscles of the tongue.
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But the reasons for the emergence of this disease in adults may be the following diseases:

  • disorders of the thyroid gland;
  • an increased amount of hormones that are responsible for the growth and size of organs;
  • full adentia;
  • amyloidosis;
  • glycogen storage disease;
  • pellagra;
  • rhinoscleroma covering the upper respiratory tract;
  • infections such as syphilis or tuberculosis;
  • open bite;
  • benign and malignant tumors;
  • purulent inflammation;
  • acute angioedema;
  • syndrome «sluggish» language with neurological diseases;
  • intramuscular hemorrhage;
  • abundant candidiasis (fungal infection);
  • problems with blood flow or limfatica;
  • hormonal disruptions of different nature;
  • the appearance of catarrhal glossitis;
  • overweight;
  • severe Allergy.


In order to get rid of the problem, it is necessary to correctly diagnose. Symptoms of macroglossia are:

  1. The apparent significant increase in the size of the language or part of it when the body beyond the oral cavity.
  2. The mucous surface thus dried and looks as if varnished.
  3. Difficulty breathing, in children frequent bouts of asphyxia, suffocation.
  4. The man refuses to take food, since the increase and compaction of the root of the language is difficult to swallow, it can cause painful sensations.
  5. The doctor notices a pronounced roughness of the surface.
  6. Papillae are enlarged, hypertrophied.
  7. Abundant salivation.
  8. The position of the mouth constantly open.
  9. On the surface of the tongue can cause cracks that occasionally bleed.
  10. The mobility authority is limited, impaired speech, a pronunciation of the hissing sounds.
  11. Visible teeth marks on the tongue.
  12. Increased body temperature often, because of macroglossia easily attach a variety of common infections.
  13. As a result of abnormalities of blood flow are sometimes bluish bubbles, pronounced capillary vessels.
  14. As a result, the patient’s condition gradually deteriorates.
  15. The shape of the bite.
  16. Sometimes ulcers develop on the tongue surface.
  17. The skin around the mouth are irritated and inflamed.
  18. If the patient has crowns or dentures, they also leave a mark and constantly injure the mucosa.


It happens that the macroglossia diagnosed with as about a symptom of wrong development of the zygomatic arches. If it is reduced, then the language of normal size looks increased and not placed in the mouth.

To carry out a correct diagnosis, an audiologist will perform a visual inspection, collect blood and biopsy results. If macroglossia will need to consult some experts – infectiologist, oncologist, endocrinologist, etc.

If the problem is congenital, the diagnosis is still in the mother’s pregnancy. Modern ultrasound machines can determine the sizes of various organs of the fetus, and doctors have already developed standards of their standards at all stages of embryonic development.

For such a diagnosis will require the analysis of the profile projection of the foetus after 1 and 2 months, and the result is compared with the normal values. If the protruding tongue is observed in every study, then we can talk about macroglossia. But an accurate diagnosis will not be before the 30th week of pregnancy.

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Already the newborn has carried out a full examination with the collection of analyses and by using hardware methods. And only after that the expert develops the most appropriate strategy correction, depending on the reason, intensity and forms of manifestation of the pathology.


If the anomaly of language appeared as a result of General illness or infection, then the administration of drugs eliminating the main cause. This can be antibiotics, means for the improvement of metabolic processes aimed at the restoration of the blood or lymphatic vessels, drugs for tissue regeneration and so forth thus your doctor may prescribe an additional treatment of the tongue and mouth to help with swelling.

In more serious cases require surgical intervention. It occurs most commonly in the correction of congenital defect immediately after birth. The main methods of surgical treatment are:

  1. Resection patchy or wedge-shaped character of the disturbed part of the body. After trimming, a doctor places a U-shaped stitches to complete wound healing.
  2. If pathology has caused problems with the blood vessels, making a phlebectomy or sclerotherapy. In the first case, remove the diseased vessels, and the second insert into the special tool is able to normalize their activity.
  3. In the treatment of children in the process of active growth, and often choose the method with the ligation of the lingual artery. Thus, it reduces the flow of hormones in this area and the size of the language is gradually restored.
  4. Sometimes it takes a shortening of the frenum on the inner surface. This is done with a special spatula and surgical scissors or a scalpel. Raising the language to the full tension, the bridle cut up to 1.5 cm the wound isn’t bleeding and suturing is not required.

The most effective is the unification of the medical and surgical treatment. The complex method involves carrying out several manipulations of different nature:

  • removal of the affected area;
  • hardening of the separate vessels;
  • the appointment of drugs that promote not only the elimination of the causes of common diseases, but also prevent the appearance of recurrences;
  • embolization of blood vessels;
  • normalization of the hormonal system.

If a person due to a sharp increase of the body showed signs of suffocation, it is necessary to provide first aid, which consists of the following operations:

  • to seat the victim, to give it a vertical position;
  • to ensure entry to the premises of fresh air, or render the patient;
  • to nail the language down, to physically clear the airway and larynx;
  • with the aim of expanding blood vessels you can put mustard on the lower limbs;
  • give an antihistamine, relieves allergies (Suprastin, Tavegil, etc.);
  • to call an ambulance;
  • if possible, make a shot of adrenaline intramuscularly.
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When you need surgery?

The operation is radical and most effective method of correcting the size of the language, but it is prescribed only in extreme cases:

  • permanent difficulty breathing;
  • the inability to accept or process foods;
  • significant speech disorders that are not corrected by other means;
  • distinct aesthetic defect;
  • profuse salivation;
  • the formation of an open bite, when it cannot be corrected with orthodontic appliances;
  • if medical therapy fails;
  • often relapses occur.

Video: girl with giant tongue.

The consequences

Macroglossia is a disorder which is not just unpleasant visual defect, and entails very serious consequences, to prevent which it is necessary:

  • infringements of work of respiratory system, repeated cases of asphyxia, which can lead to death if time does not respond;
  • in children because of this developing malocclusion, which may also negatively affect the General state of health;
  • problems with the gastrointestinal tract, as enlarged by the language is quite difficult accurately to process and swallow food;
  • over time, deform the dental and periodontal tissues of the oral cavity;
  • impaired speech and social adaptation of person.

And periodic trauma of language, prokusyvanie, the development of cracks leads to pain and constant discomfort that should not be ignored. Treated in time the problem will help the child to communicate with peers, to learn to talk, and the elimination of a defect in any age will have a positive impact on overall health and wellbeing.

Modern medicine allows us to quickly get rid of this disease, whatever its cause and the intensity of the display. The main thing is to contact a specialist for help and to adhere to all the recommendations that he gives.

Further questions

► Code for ICD-10

This disease belongs to the class of congenital anomalies (malformations), deformations and chromosomal violations, and is located in a subsection with other congenital anomalies of tongue, mouth and throat. Code Q38.2.