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It may be associated with diabetes mellitus, bacterial infections, candidal infections, adverse drug reactions, smoking, and trauma to the tongue. Surrounding structures may be swollen sufficiently to produce asphyxia. Tracheostomy may be necessary to maintain the airway.
The underlying disorder must be treated. In order to maintain oral cleanliness, patients should rinse the mouth with an anesthetic oral solution, such as 2% xylocaine.