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The tip of my Tongue has been oddly red, and numbish for months (creating a lisp)

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Old 11-08-2012, 07:47 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Lyleus HB User
Unhappy The tip of my Tongue has been oddly red, and numbish for months (creating a lisp)

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been having trouble for almost 3 months now with a vastly annoying issue with my tongue. I have been to three General Practitioner doctors, one Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) Doctor specialist, and a dentist during these past 3 months and no one can seem to diagnose the main issue. So, I thought I would give healthboards a shot to see if anyone else has had, or has heard of, my symptoms before I go to my next appointment so I can have some more insight before they put me on anything else or do something to me that will suck or not work. They certainly seem to have no clue as of yet. Anyway, on to the issue!

My Symptoms:

The tip of my tongue has the following symptoms, which has been on-going since July 18, 2012:
- Burning/inflamed* (has gone for the most part)
- Raw* (has gone for the most part)
- Oddly red at the very tip, sometimes a little bloody looking
- Numbish at the tip
- Ulcers come and go every 3 weeks or so (I have good dental hygiene and eat healthy)
- The dentist said my tongue looks a little enlarged (she didn’t use the word “enlarge” but said it looked bigger than it should be). I am inclined to believe this because there are teeth-ridge marks on the sides of my tongue (which I assume are from clenching my teeth down) that I don’t think were there before.

As a result of this numbish feeling, I lisp certain words now; e.g. “Lilith”, “Youth”, “With”, and also sometimes “Think” or “Thought”. Up until this point, I have had perfect speech.

Note: When I say “tip of my tongue” I mean the area at the very end tip of my tongue to about 1 to 1.5 centimeters inwards towards the back of my tongue. Though the very tip of my tongue does feel/look different. Hard to explain!

Possible Causes (in my opinion):
- Viral infection
- A very long, stressful experience (while I was away this summer)
- One of my front teeth has a slight chip that could be irritating it.
- Irritation from a potentially enlarged tongue at night
- STD?
- Nerve damage (dear god I hope not)

Just as a note, I do not believe I had a significant burn to cause something like this.


I recently found out that “Crest Pro-Health Non-Alcoholic Mouthwash” could be one of the causes of the inflammation after reading HORRENDOUS customer reviews. So I stopped taking it and the burning/inflamed symptoms have dwindled. The numbness at the tip is still there and I still have a lisp when saying certain words. I’m worried that I damaged it permanently either by using that mouthwash or some other neural issue.


Here’s the looong history of the issue if you have time to read it.

I worked on a large boat for 6 weeks overseas this past summer—from 2012 June 21 to July 31st --which was an extremely stressful experience for me. During my last week on the job, just before I was about to go back home, I started to notice that there was a soft lisp when I said specific types of words, (e.g. with “s”s and soft “th”s like “Lilith” or “youth”). This baffled and concerned me because I had perfect speech my entire life. I checked out my tongue and noticed that it was a bit red on the tip (with some red--perhaps raw/bloody--marks) and there were some ulcers coming in as well. So I went to the doctor on board and he simply said I was fine and to take this mouthwash to help the ulcers, brush more often etc. It really didn’t help, because the ulcers came and my speech was still off. By the time I got home, I had a full blown geographic tongue and my speech was still an issue.

I went to a walk-in clinic doctor the day after I arrived home and he gave me anti-fungal medicine for the geographic tongue and ulcers; he didn’t know what caused the speech problem and he thought maybe the medication would help it. After 5 days, the ulcers and geographic tongue went away; however, the tip of my tongue was still felt raw, and at times enflamed, a little red (even a little numb, but it’s really hard to tell) and, again, my speech issue was still always there.

Two to three weeks after that visit, I went to my family doctor for an appointment; he immediately referred me to an ENT specialist because he had no clue what was going on or simply didn’t want to bother.

After pushing very hard to get the referral to go through (they wanted me to wait 4 months), I finally got an appointment around three weeks later. By this time, my ulcers had come back (for the record, I’ve had really good oral hygiene practices during the summer and I am continuing to do so) so he put me on stronger anti-fungal medication alone with this yellow mouth rinse-and-swallow stuff. He said he couldn’t really see anything terribly wrong with the tip of my tongue only that it seemed a little enflamed. However, I could see and feel it quite easily that something was quite wrong. Anyway, he said to come back in 2 weeks for a follow up. I went home and took the medications for 2 weeks and nothing changed except that the ulcers disappeared again. Again, the tip of my tongue was still raw/red/enflamed/numbish etc... (sorry to keep reiterating that point!)

I returned to the ENT specialist for another follow up on Sept 20th, indicating that my speech is still not right (still struggling with the soft “th”’s and other random words). He said that the tongue/speech is incredibly sensitive thing and if one thing is off, things can change. But he still didn’t know what could be causing it. He then said he would now put me on 150mg of prednisone a day for a week to see if it was an autoimmune issue. I had a cold/laryngitis at this time, so he said to wait until they were gone before I went on the prednisone.

On Sept. 25rd, I had a teeth cleaning at the Dentistry and then I made an appointment to talk and get examined by the actual Dentist a week later on Oct. 3rd. The dentist said my teeth/gums were very good and just before we ended to appointment I asked for her opinion on my tongue, which she gladly had a look. She noticed right away that something was off, so she got all the dentists in the practice to come harass my tongue and look at it. They all had something different to say: the tip was odd, didn’t look right, and was red and even shaped a little funny. One of them even mentioned that my tongue looked a little large and another said that I should see an Oral Pathologist (however, I was later told by another doctor that I should only do that as a last result because the biopsy of my tongue might permanently effect my speech, which is what I want solved in the first place). So, I left the Dentist and they said they would talk to the ENT and collaborate on the whole issue together and let me know if they found anything.

The following day, I went to another walk-in clinic to get medication for an eye infection, which was caused by my cold. He checked out my tongue as well and noticed right away that something was off (he was the doctor who said to avoid a biopsy on the tip of my tongue). I’ll be honest and say I forgot what he said, but it wasn’t too helpful; though he DID rule out cancer. I do know he said there’s nothing I could take at the moment to help.

Anyway, I just finished prednisone prescription and there has been absolutely no change; I only got the blah side effects.

I have a doctor’s appointment with the ENT on Nov. 1st for another follow up. I have no idea what he will be doing next, but he says he just wants to keep eliminating things until he can get to the bottom of it.

At this point, I am very discouraged and bummed out because I’m starting to believe this is permanent and/or has the ability to diagnose me. I’m fairly self-conscious about it. Some people say they don’t really notice it, but they are either being nice or it is when I am focusing very hard on my enunciation and/or I’m not saying the words that I have difficulty saying without a small lisp. It’s there and I can feel it quite badly.

I think I have mentioned everything. I apologize for the enormous post!



I really don’t have any allergies, other than dust, grass, cats, etc., though I don’t think I have ever been tested for food allergies.

Not worthy points

- I have a minor form of Myasthenia gravis (since I was 20), which only effects my eyes. The past 7 years, though I have had very little symptoms (I’ve been in remission), and when it rarely comes back and when it does, it goes away whenever I take prednisone for 5 days. It has never affected my speech before, and because Myasthenia is not a progressive disease, it shouldn’t be a cause.
- In order to work on the vessel, I had to take vaccines for the following back in April/March: Yellow fever, Hep A/B, Diphtheria , Tetanus, Typhoid, Polio. I am not sure if this is relevant information, but I thought it might be worth mentioning.


- Advil, Tylenol, sometimes prednisone, allergy pills.

Family history

- No family history whatsoever with this issue

Social history

- I drink socially on weekends, but not as much during past month or so. I use to drink a glass or wine or a few glasses of whiskey at night; more during the weekend. I don’t do that much anymore.
- I haven’t been sexually active since a few before I left for the job on the vessel (I was gone June to August);
- I have traveled to Europe and Middle East this year. I have also been down south last year (Dominican Rep.)

Though I’m going to continue to go see doctors, I’m getting a little jaded and would like to have some light shed in any way possible before I head further into the void of specialists.


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