Medical Q&As

Glossitis - causes?

What are the likely causes of glossitis in a 5-year-old boy?

Glossitis is the medical term for inflammation of the tongue. It can be due to local disorders of the tongue or may be a result of a systemic condition. Local causes would include bacterial, viral or fungal infection of the tongue. Inflammation could also arise as a result of trauma such as burns, hot liquids or spicy foods. Sometimes glossitis can arise as an allergic response to toothpaste, various liquids or possibly colourants in foods and sweets. Systemic causes of glossitis would include anaemia and vitamin B deficiency. Very rarely glossitis can be an inherited condition. There are other systemic causes of glossitis however; these are rarely seen in children. The commonest forms of glossitis that we see in general practice with regard to the paediatric population are due to infection.