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Oral Surgery/Inflamed Tongue


White streak near tip of tongue on sides
White streak near tip  

Irritated tongue
Irritated tongue  
So for the past few weeks I've been having an inflamed tongue come and go. I believe it could be due to the fact that I have been eating spicy foods and today I ate something way too hot (temperature wise) for my mouth. It was right out of the pan when I put it in my mouth. I've also been rubbing my tongue against my inner teeth lately as well as in between the ridges of the bottoms of my front teeth I tend to do it when I'm nervous lately it's a bad habit I've picked up recently.

But the thing that has me weirded out are these white streaks on the tip of my tongue. And some inflamed taste buds. I've been tested for HIV last month and was negative haven't had any risk events since. I don't have any stds either as I've been tested for all stds.

What could this be? Could it just be irritation?

Oh P.S. The white streaks weren't there until today.

James -  The white streaks appear to be from chronic irritation.  Those chronic habits could be from habits such as clenching your teeth against the tongue, especially if the teeth are rough.  The fact that there are also areas of red would indicate active inflammation.  I, of course, cannot tell you the exact cause, but it could be a virus as the cause.  My suggestion is a benign treatment to attempt to reduce the inflammation.  The treatment I recommend is warm salt water rinses for 1-2 minutes, 4-5 times a day.  The warm salt water will help reduce the inflammation and can help to reduce the redness and soon the white streaks.  

I wish you well.  If it remains after about 5-7 days, seek an evaluation by a local board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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