ORAL MEDICINE : Macroglossia - Differentials and Management

Macroglossia is the abnormal enlargement of the tongue in proportion to other structures in the mouth.

It usually occurs secondary to an underlying disorder that may be present from birth (congenital) or acquired.

In rare cases, it is an isolated, congenital feature. Symptoms associated with macroglossia may include drooling; speech impairment; difficulty eating; stridor; snoring; airway obstruction; abnormal growth of the jaw and teeth; ulceration; and/or dying tissue on the tip of the tongue.

The tongue may protrude from the mouth. Inherited or congenital disorders associated with macroglossia include Down syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, primary amyloidosis, and congenital hypothyroidism.

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Acquired causes may include trauma, cancer, endocrine disorders, and inflammatory or infectious diseases. Isolated, congenital macroglossia can be genetic, inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.

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