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Warts on Tongue: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

One of the symptoms that occurs due to HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, is warts on the tongue. Read on to know all about the causes, symptoms, and treatment for this condition.
Dr. Sumaiya Khan
The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the body. The surface of the tongue, that is visible, is known as the dorsal surface of the tongue. This surface is covered with papillae, which give the tongue its velvety appearance. There are many diseases that lead to visible changes in the surface and color of the tongue. One such condition is the development of warts. It is a commonly seen symptom, that is the result of a sexually transmitted disease.
The image alongside is for representational purposes only.
Warts on tongue are caused due to a virus known as human papillomavirus. This is a virus which leads to genital warts, which could occur on any surface of the body, but are especially seen on mucocutaneous surfaces. It is a sexually transmitted disease, thus, the symptoms in the mouth can only occur as a result of having oral sex with a person who is already suffering from this condition. The possibility of contracting this infection is especially high if the infected person is showing active symptoms at the time of intercourse. This is because, at that time the wound may be open, and due to this, the possibility of the transfer of the viral particles is high. Also, if you happen to have an open wound in your oral cavity, then the chances of you contracting HPV increases manifold.
The HPV warts on tongue may be present singularly or in clusters. More often than not, these are very tiny blisters that burst and spread the viral progeny in the surrounding area. These warts may be present all over the dorsal surface of the tongue, but are more prevalent on the tip and the sides of the tongue. This is dangerous because, when present on the side, due to the movement of the tongue, they tend to burst easily, and thus, spread easily. These warts generally may even get encrusted over time, and may leave scars.
As is the case with almost all viral infections, there is no full and final cure of warts due to a HPV infection. One can only mitigate the symptoms, to an extent that they do not show up, but even with the help of antiviral medication, you cannot completely eliminate or kill the virus. Sometimes, the warts may eventually lead to small raised and fleshy growths. Furthermore, almost all treatments for warts lead to either some kind of depigmentation or scarring.
Most of the time, the treatment offered is purely symptomatic. If the person is having difficulty eating, then the doctor advises to apply topical antiviral creams. These help to mitigate the symptoms to a considerable extent. If the person has pain or a slight burning sensation due to the wart, which is causing a lot of discomfort and difficulty in eating, then he can use a topical anesthetic or a topical analgesic, which will help soothe these symptoms. If the symptoms are very severe, then there may be need for more invasive treatment, for the patient to get any kind of relief.
So, can you get warts on your tongue? The answer is yes. Even if the person you are having unprotected sex with does not show any active signs and symptoms at that time, if you happen to have even a small open wound, the virus could enter your body, and lead to symptoms like tongue warts. So, in such cases, it is best to take precautions by ensuring that you practice protected sex, because, as they say, prevention is better than cure.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.