What is it?

In atrophic glossitis, the surface of the tongue is missing papillae, which are the small bumps that appear normally on the tongue’s surface and contain the taste buds. It can be a manifestation of underlying conditions such as amyloidosis, celiac disease, chemical irritants, drug reactions, local infections, nutritional deficiencies, pernicious anemia, protein-calorie malnutrition, sarcoidosis, Sjorgen’s, syphilis and vesiculoerosive diseases.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include pain, burning sensation, and numbness of the tongue, and dysfunction of taste.


Diagnosis of atrophic glossitis is based upon medical history and physical examination. In order to find the underlying cause, some further tests may be done including blood tests.


Treatment includes treating the underlying cause, if it’s found.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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