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Oral Surgery/sore tongue - orabase


QUESTION: Hi Dr Tieg- Was wondering if you could help me.  i have developed some soreness on my tongue.  mostly the tip on the right side and a little bit further up on the side theres this strange white aura surrounding a 2nd sore region.  The first time this happened was back in Feb - i ate something that felt very abrasive on my tongue and the papilla got inflamed. it took a month for it to settle down but since then it has been flaring up on and off. I attached a photo where you can see the 2 regions. could this be lichen planus? i have had similar problems in the past on the inside of my cheek but it went away.  anyway this is very uncomfortable and sometimes it hurts when i eat or even talk.  would appreciate your input.  im in good health and dont smoke or drink that much.

Best Regards,


ANSWER: Jason -  It might be lichen planus or just an irritation.  I wish I could be more definitive, but it is difficult to determine in one picture.  if it is sore and recurs, you should see your dentist or physician and ask them to prescribe a medication you can directly apply to the areas to calm them down and promote healing.  The one I prescribe is kenalog in Orabase.  Have your dentist or physician and I think you will see a quick improvement.  I wish you well and hope you feel better soon.

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QUESTION: Thanks Dr Tieg!! I actually just had a dental checkup but i will call to get a prescription for the gel. have a good weekend!

ANSWER: Jason - I wish you well and hope you feel better soon.

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QUESTION: Hi Dr Tieg-  thanks again for your help. My dentist prescribed some Kenalog Orabase but I am unable to find clear instructions on when to apply it and how to avoid swallowing the product.  Are you supposed to just use it before bed and how can i make sure i wont swallow it during the night?  If I need to use it during the day how long to i keep it on and do i just remove it from my sore before i eat?  Any information would be greatly appreciated

Best Regards,


Jason - you are experiencing a similar situation that many undergo.  Kenalog in orabase, depending on the severity of the lesion, can be applied 1-3 times a day.  If once daily, apply a bedtime.  It is important to apply a fairly thin amount.  If the lesion is worse, it can be applied 2-3 times a day.  At bed and then after meals.  Applying a small thin coating is best.  Do not worry if it is gone after a short time. It works well even when it seems to disappear after a short time.  

Don't ever take it off, just let it dissolve on its own by itself.  

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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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