- 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.