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Deformity of the tongue in an infant: Riga-Fede disease

Dental Emergency

Riga-Fede is the rare condition of benign ulceration caused by repeti-tive trauma to the lingual tissues by the teeth in children younger than two years of age.

The differential diagnosis includes infective and neoplastic conditions.

Histological diagnosis is required when the symptoms fail to resolve with standard management.


The case involv-ing an 11-month-old girl who presented with ulceration of the tongue, resulting in a reasonable defect of the tongue tip, is reported in the present article.

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Following excisional biopsy, the lesion healed without subsequent recurrence.

Riga-Fede disease should be consid-ered in infants presenting with oral ulceration. Extraction of the offending teeth should be considered when associated with failure to thrive or failed conservative management.

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°researchgate.net
°Karen A Eley / Pauline A Watt-Smith / Stephen R Watt-Smith