Persons with any sort of tongue disorder should visit a board-certified ENT, which is an ear, nose and throat doctor. ENT doctors are also otolaryngologists, which means that they specialize in diagnosing and treating abnormalities that cause discomfort or pain.
The tongue is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, and any noticeable changes in the tongue may be a sign of disease or other physical problem. It is the ENT's job to uncover what the underlying issue is that is causing the tongue problem. An example of a common issue is a tongue with white coating or white patchy spots. This is a strong indication that the patient may have an infection, inflammatory disease or an overgrowth of yeast. Another common issue that doctors encounter is a tongue that appears hairy. A hairy tongue can result from using too much mouthwash, having a fever or taking antibiotic medication.
Sometimes a person goes to an ENT after suffering a serious injury to the tongue. Sudden trauma to the sensitive tissue of the tongue is quite painful, but it usually heals quickly. Oral sores or bumps on the tongue make for other reasons to visit a specialist. An ENT is trained to thoroughly examine the tongue for signs of allergic reactions, immune system disorders and early stages of many diseases.