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Oral Surgery/tongue dysplasia


QUESTION: I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and am on Enbrel, prednisone, and Celebrex. I am 60 years old. Three years ago I developed lesions on the right side of my tongue that would not heal. The ENT doctor did a biopsy but thankfully it came back negative. However I still have lesions, but the main problem is the terrible pain I have where the biopsy was taken.  My doctor looks at my tongue once a year. He says there is nothing he can do to help me deal with the pain or the lesions, then says he wants to see me in a year. I am quite desperate because eating is a trial. Any food that is acidic, salty, spicy or hard and crunchy is impossible to eat. Do you have any suggestions for me? My primary care physician gave me triamcinolone acetonide dental paste. I have used it for about two years. It gives some relief but it's never permanent. Thank you for your help.

ANSWER: Lee Anne - I am so sorry to hear about those areas on your tongue that keep returning.  There are so many different causes for those areas.  Most are due to just an immunological reaction and as such there is no true cure.  What is done usually is to treat the symptoms, like your doctor is doing with the steroid paste to your tongue.  

To better help determine the cause, a biopsy could be done.  My suggestion is that, rather than your physician, you should have the areas examined by a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  This doctor sees and diagnoses oral lesions frequently.  So you should find one near you.  If for some reason you cannot find one, get back to me, tell me where you live and I will send you names of a few surgeons to examine you.

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QUESTION: Have you heard of a prescription called "miracle (or magic) mouthwash? I have read rave reviews about it online. Could this possibly help relieve my tongue pain. Thanks so much for your help.

Lee Anne -  the "miracle" mouthwash is made from a combination of different substances.  This has been used for many years to soothe and help calm lesions of the tongue or the mouth.  This product is made up of a solution of Maalox, Benedryl (antihistamine) and Lidocaine (numbing solution).  Ever since I have been in practice I have used this product on patients with similar symptoms you or cold sores on the cheeks or tongue.

So go ahead and use this product.  It will help make the area feel better and may reduce any inflammation in area.

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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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