On the tip of my tongue: Differential diagnosis for tongue lesions (On-Demand)

Presented at RDH Under One Roof Extended on December 2, 2023

Learning Objectives: 

  • Recognize the different parts and components of the tongue.
  • Distinguish the most common pathologies that affect the papillae, lingual glands and lingual mucosa.
  • Apply the provided knowledge when establishing differential diagnoses for benign and malignant tongue pathologies
  • Develop a system to effectively communicate the occurrence of tongue lesions among the dental team.
  • Evaluate in which cases medication will be necessary and in which ones a referral to the oral pathologist / oral maxillofacial surgeon might be convenient.

The tongue helps us to connect with the world. Throughout our lives, it is what allows us to enjoy the food we consume, as we grow it also helps us to express our thoughts and feelings. It is something that we know is there, but at the same time, we are not aware of its importance until something affects it.

Although the tongue is something easy to examine, it is an organ full of complexities that often takes a backseat when performing a clinical examination of our patients. Dental care professionals must know the variety of systemic disorders, neoplasms, and reactive processes that have been associated with specific and nonspecific oral changes making the oral cavity an important diagnostic area,.  Early detection of tongue lesions lead to better treatment plans and prognosis for our patients.

While professionals understand the need for an early diagnosis it is often easier said than done. The tongue is a complex muscular organ,  made up of muscles, glands, veins, and three groups of taste buds. The majority of the lesions of the tongue are benign and asymptomatic,. Unfortunately it is not until the appearance of the dorsal surface of the tongue is changed that many patients decide to come to the dental office. Even though in most cases,  the lesions that affect the tongue do not need treatment and can resolve by themselves it is important for professionals to know how to identify next steps. Knowing how to establish a decision tree will allow us to determine the different differential diagnoses, and which pathologies need a consultation with the specialist. This interactive course takes participants through a variety of case studies allowing the dental professional to experience real life scenarios to better equip them for clinical practice.

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Course Includes

  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 2

    Course Type: Virtual Conference

    Published Date: December 2, 2023

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 2 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at lwinfield@endeavorb2b.com.

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is Free for 2 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 2-5933-22229. Expires . “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 2 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 730


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code: AADHEBM-196-12-2023-2


    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at ada.org/goto/cerp.



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