Some infants and adults have enlarged tongue which looks like extended from their mouth and appears swollen. It is termed as Macroglossia.
If our tongue does not a get sufficient space or room in our mouth, the tongue will not confine to the teeth. It extends to the vestibules between the teeth and the lips.
Newborn babies and infants suffering from this oral health complication have higher chances of malnutrition. As their tongues are like inflamed, it causes certain feeding problems. In such cases, the babies cannot get sufficient nutrients.
People having such kind of larger tongue feel difficulty in eating, chewing, speaking and few other daily activities associated with the mouth.
If this problem is left untreated, it will lead to facial deformities, jaw problems, etc.
Depending on certain conditions and reasons that enlarge the tongue size, it is classified as 2 types as follows:
• True macroglossia
• Pseudo macroglossia
True Macroglossia – The enlarged tongue is caused due to congenital factors like Beckwith- Wiedemann Syndrome or others.
Pseudo Macroglossia – In this case, the tongue is normal in size but due to oral complications, the tongue is moved or located at abnormal positions.
The enlarged tongue is caused by various factors like Down syndrome, Isolated hereditary trait, etc. Similarly, certain metabolic conditions also cause macroglossia.
• Chromosomal abnormalities
• Transient neonatal diabetes
• Idiopathic muscle hypertrophy
• Autosomal dominant inheritance
• Down syndrome
• Chronic steroid therapy
• Dental infection
• Postoperative Edema
• Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome
• Other muscular hypertrophy complications
This issue is easily identified with the large size of tongue and difficulty in actions like breathing, speaking and others. Besides this, it shows symptoms like infection in the upper respiratory tract and drooling saliva.
In order to provide the right treatment, the dentist needs to diagnose the cause of the enlarged tongue. Hence a dental health specialist performs a physical exam named NORD prior to choosing the appropriate treatment.
Macroglossia is a treatable dental health issue. It will be treated only if the dentist finds the underlying cause of the enlarged tongue. Otherwise, it is difficult to cure this.
As infants are highly prone to this diseases, it is the responsibility of every parent to visit the dentist as soon as possible once they identify the enlarged tongue. Similar to other dental diseases like periodontal diseases and tooth decay, curing macroglossia is simple if it is diagnosed and treated early.