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What is macroglossia? 

Macroglossia occurs when the tongue becomes abnormally enlarged in proportion to the rest of the mouth. It is typically a symptom of another condition, but in rare cases it is an isolated, congenital feature. 

What are the symptoms of macroglossia?

Symptoms include:

  • Drooling
  • Obstruction of the airways
  • Difficulty eating
  • Issues speaking
  • Abnormal growth and development of the jaws and teeth
  • Stridor
  • Snoring
  • Ulceration
  • Dying tissue on the tip of the tongue

What causes macroglossia?

A number of congenital, inherited conditions can cause this condition. Some of the most common are Down syndrome, amyloidosis, hypothyroidism, and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Cancer, endocrine disorders, and inflammatory or infectious diseases may also cause this condition. In fact, COVID-19 patients have reported this condition, but further research needs to be done into these cases. In inherited cases, this condition is passed down in an autosomal dominant form. 

How is macroglossia diagnosed?

It is usually easy to diagnose this condition, as a look at the tongue will show doctors what’s going on. 

What are the treatments for macroglossia?

When there is a known, primary cause of the macroglossia, doctors will treat that first. If it is inherited, surgery can be used to reduce the size of the tongue. Nothing else has been proven to work. 

Where can I find out more about macroglossia?

Macroglossia Articles