Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I woke up with a swollen tongue. Should I see a doctor?"
I sleep with my mouth open and (the swelling has since gone down). Never happened before. Should I see a doctor?
If your tongue was actually observably swollen then this is something that you should have checked out by your doctor, even if the symptoms are now resolved. This is because tongue swelling can sometimes be a sign of a serious allergic reaction or medication reaction. Other symptoms that can also occur would include swelling of the face and lips, a sensation that the throat is "closing" or trouble breathing. However, sometimes, when we sleep with our mouths open, the saliva in the mouth and on the tongue may dry up, leaving us with the sensation of a swollen tongue in the morning even though the tongue may not actually be swollen. In this situation, there is usually nothing to worry about. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out whether or not this was a true allergic type reaction and, if so, help you identify the cause and prevent further episodes. If any of these symptoms recur while you are waiting to get in to see the doctor, the best course of action would be to visit the local emergency room or urgent care center for treatment, as untreated allergic reactions can be very serious and even life threatening. Please call your doctor!
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