Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What is Aglossia , Microglossia & Macroglossia



Aglossia is an extremely rare congenital defect characterized complete absence of the tongue. This condition is usually associated with other serious developmental defects in the body.


Microglossia is another rare congenital anamoly in which only a tiny or rudementry tongue has

developed from the cupola. Although microglassias may develop as isolated cases but in most of the cases they occur in association with other anomalies  like oromandibular limb hypogenesis syndrome or hypoglassia- hypodactylia syndrome etc.

Microglassia without limb deformity can occur but they are also associated with some other birth defects such as partial anodontia, sublingual gland hypertrophy and dextrocadia etc.

For obvious reasons patients with microglossia often have severe speech difficulties as well as difficulty in taking food.

As size of the tongue often determines the growth and size of the mandibular arch in case of microglossia the length of the mandibular arch will be smaller due to the smaller size of tongue.


Macroglassia is relatively common condition characterized by an increase in the size of tongue.

Macroglossia can be either congenital or acquired in nature

Causes of congenital macroglassia

• Overdevelopment of the tongue musculature

• Lysosomal storage disease

          Hurler syndrome

          Hunters syndrome

          Marteaux-Lamy syndrome

• Downs syndrome

• Beckwith’s hypoglycemic syndrome

• Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome

What is relative macroglossia ?

Relative macroglossia is a condition in which a normal size tongue appears to be large. It Is particularly inclosed in small oral cavity. It happens in case of maxxilary retrution or restricted naso pharynx.

What is Apparent Macroglossia ?

Apparent macroglossia I a condition where the tongue appears abnormally large due to poor muscular control of tongue. Although there is no real increase in the bulk of the tongue tissue. Apparent macroglossia is seen in cretinism and happy puppet syndrome.


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