Pediatric Macroglossia (Large Tongue)

Macroglossia describes an unusually large tongue, which can be caused by several conditions.


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What is Pediatric Macroglossia (Large Tongue)?

Children can either be born with (congenital) an enlarged tongue or develop it after birth (acquired) in response to a medical condition. This uncommon disorder can cause difficulties breathing, eating, sleeping, speaking and swallowing.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Macroglossia (Large Tongue)?

Symptoms will vary according to the cause and severity of the condition responsible for macroglossia. Symptoms can include:

  • Airway obstruction
  • Difficulty eating
  • Drooling
  • Irregular growth of the jaw and teeth
  • Open sore
  • Sleep apnea (temporarily stop breathing while sleeping) or snoring
  • Speech impairment
  • Stridor (high-pitched whistle made when trying to breathe)
  • Tissue death on the tip of the tongue

What are the causes of Pediatric Macroglossia (Large Tongue)?

Some children are born with an abnormally large tongue due to genetics. Other children can have a large tongue due to several medical conditions:

Pediatric Macroglossia (Large Tongue) Doctors and Providers