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VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 4 ( May, 2007 ) > List of Articles


Primary Tuberculosis of the Tongue: A Case Report

Rajeev Kr. Garg, Pawan Singhai

Citation Information : Garg RK, Singhai P. Primary Tuberculosis of the Tongue: A Case Report. J Contemp Dent Pract 2007; 8 (4):74-80.

DOI: 10.5005/jcdp-8-4-74

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-09-2008

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2007; The Author(s).



The purpose of this article is to report a rare case of primary tuberculosis of the tongue.


Tuberculosis is an infectious, chronic granulomatous disease that can involve almost any organ in the body, but primary lesions are usually confined to the lungs. Oral lesions are an infrequent occurrence in tuberculosis, and tuberculosis of the oral cavity is often a consequence of active pulmonary tuberculosis. Although primary tuberculosis in the oral cavity has been documented, it is a rare occurrence.


A 42-year-old male patient presented with chief complaints of severe pain and ulceration on the ventrolateral surface of the left side of the tongue, measuring about 1.25×1.50 cm with surrounding erythema and induration of one-month duration. The ulcer was initially painless but became painful later with increased severity over time. The sore tongue caused difficulty in eating, drinking, swallowing, and even talking. The patient also complained of malaise for some duration, but there was no history of fever, cough, weight loss, and his bladder-bowel habits were normal. An excisional biopsy differentiated the lesion from squamous cell carcinoma and confirmed the diagnosis.


Even though primary tuberculosis in the oral cavity is a rare finding, it must be included in the differential diagnosis of mucosal lesions. This case provides a clinical example of the importance of this inclusion for the well being of the patient and for the community due to the communicable nature of the disease.


Garg RK, Singhal P. Primary Tuberculosis of the Tongue: A Case Report. J Contemp Dent Pract 2007 May;(8)4:074-080.

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