Expert: Excessive use of lozenges can cause tongue irritation

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – UNAIR Faculty of Dentistry (FKG) lecturer contributes scientific publications to universities, again. Meircurius Dwi Condro Surboyo, drg., M. Kes. published a scientific article entitled Glossitis mimicking median rhomboid glossitis induced by throat lozenges and refreshment candies.

Lozenges can dispel discomfort in the throat and found to be quite dangerous when overused. For this reason, there are instructions for not over-consuming the candy on the package.

He explained that active ingredients in lozenges similar to local antiseptic and anaesthesia drugs. Such as menthol, peppermint oil, eucalyptol, methyl salicylic acid, thymol eucalyptus, amylmetacresol, and dybenal.

“Although it has a good effect to relieve throat, the ingredients found in lozenges can cause irritation and inflammation of the tongue,” explained drg. Meircuius.

In the process of consuming the candy, there will be contact between the candy with the tongue. Thus, the ingredients in candy can cause reactions on the tongue surface.

Side effects include tingling, numbness, stinging sensations, burning, and changes in taste. Besides, active ingredients that contain low pH cause loss of tongue papilla. If the condition is left unchecked, it can cause severe inflammation of the tongue or glossitis.

“Other conditions that may arise are fungal infections on the reddish tongue area,” said drg. Meircuius.

If these side effects occur, there are several things you can do. First, you need to stop consuming the candy and directly visit a dentist immediately. Usually, the dentist will give mouthwash or topical medication that helps reduce pain.

Besides, it is necessary to avoid spicy, sour or spicy foods. It needs to be avoided because it can cause pain.

“Use mouthwash and topical medication according to doctor’s instructions. It will faster the healing process,” he concluded.

Author: Galuh Mega Kurnia

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Reference : Meircurius Dwi Condro Surboyo, Diah Savitri Ernawati, Adiastuti Endah Parmadianti. (2019). Glossitis mimicking median rhomboid glossitis induced by throat lozenges and refreshment candies. Journal of International Oral Health; 11(5): 323-328;


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