Thyroid UK
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Anyone ever suffer from a scalloped tongue?

I had the right side of my thyroid removed 2 yrs ago, and apart from 6 weeks on levothyroxin, I have not had any problems since.

3 weeks ago I noticed a swelling on my the side of my tongue, which has gradually increased until both sides of my tongue are swollen. I went to see my GP who said I have a scalloped tongue which could be caused by my thyroid. It also feels as though I am swallowing a lump all the time.

GP has referred me to ENT, so I am waiting for an appointment.

Just wondering if anyone else has suffered this problem?

14 Replies

Did the gp retest your thyroid? Would have thought that would make sense whilst waiting for the referral. Also could be caused by b12, folate or iron deficiency - it's called glossitis:

Do you have any other symptoms?


Hi Hampster1, no the GP did not test my thyroid, he put me on a course of anti-biotics, chlarythromicin, just in case the swelling was an infection of my tongue. They had no effect at all. The only other symptoms are feeling tired especially in the afternoon, and a metallic taste in my mouth, and feeling like I am swallowing a lump all the time.


Ok, prob thyroid as others have said. For a comparison, have a look at this, scroll down to "Clinical Manifestations" and read "2) Oral Lesions", scroll down a bit further for a picture:

The other option is oral thrush, but assume the doc discounted this already.


Wow the picture of that tongue is exactly like mine. Yes I do have other symptoms, weight gain, depression and a terrible slump in the afternoons. Endo just changed me from 100mcgs of T4 Levo to 50mcgs as she has upped my T3 from 20mcgs to 30mcgs. Feel worse. I sometimes tweak to 40mcgs. I take the 30mcgs of T3 in the morning with my T4 5omcgs. I have had this tongue for a while though now. Feel it is too big for my mouth and scalloped exactly like the photo. I am so tire of all this had it for 20 years. Was so glad to start the T3 having tried for so many years but I do not feel as if I am getting any better. Could really use some help.....


Swollen, scalloped tongue=classic sign of underactive thyroid. One of the first things a doctor looked at before the days of the computer screen 'consultation'. I can tell if I am under by that.

There are some pictures here you might like to look at, particularly the scalloped tongue.


Thanks for the link,that could be me.x


Thanks marram, my tongue is exactly like the one in the picture!


Yes I had a scalloped tongue and it was too big, I had trouble moving it out of the way for the dentist.

The only person that told me it was a symptom was Dr Skinner, no other doctor or endo bothered to look at or ask me about my tongue. When I went on a higher dose of medication it improved a lot. I hope it will do for you too, I'm glad your GP knew about this thyroid symptom.

Totoro x


Yes I have this too. My tongue also felt very large and it was difficult to move it to chew and speak. It is slowly resolving as my dose of Armour increases. As has been said it has only been Dr Skinner who has commented apart from the ENT surgeon who thought it might be related but to be fair said he didn't know enough about hypothyroidism.


Definitely underactive thyroid. A couple of months ago I needed an increase in my meds. My tongue swelled up so much I couldn't eat properly because I kept biting my tongue as I chewed. Also would wake at night when on my back because my enlarged tongue was interfering with my breathing and I'd wake up gasping for breath. No joke! I had my levo raised and I'm fine (on the tongue issue anyway)!

Jen x


Just an update on the 'scalloped tongue'. After a full set of blood tests, (all came back normal), I was referred to a cancer consultant, after various tests given the all clear.

the cancer consultant sent me to the ENT consultant where I had a camera inserted up my nose and an examination of throat, and larynx. I have been diagnosed with Laryngopharyngeal reflux, or silent reflux, In simple terms the valve at the top of my stomach is leaking acid up into my throat, causing my tongue to swell, the feeling of a lump in my throat, and a hoarse voice. So I am on medication for 3 months, if it is not cured by then, I will be having an operation to repair the valve.

Hope the meds work, in the past 3 yrs I have had a mini-stroke, hemi-thyroidectomy, and prostate surgery!


Hi Chunk,

I knows it has been 4 years since you posted this not, but I was wondering if the medication you took got rid of your swollen tongue. did you need to operate? did you have any other symptoms apart from metallic taste? did you also have swollen salivary gland and tonsil stones?

Many thanks


hello, is there anyone out there can give me some advice about scalloped tongue?



Replying on a four-year-old thread is possibly not the best way to get a question noticed. :-) Though it is very much on-topic!

Suggest you write a new post asking what you want to know. Include some background, if you can.

Swollen tongue is common in hypothyroidism. I had that at my lowest thyroid hormone level - unpleasant but got over it with appropriate levothyroxine dose. However, there are other causes...


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