enlargement of the tongue, due to overdevelopment of the muscle or the accumulation of material within the tongue. Muscular hypertrophy may be congenital, as in Down syndrome, or may develop later in life, as in acromegaly. Inadequate lymph drainage caused by infection, tumours, or other obstructions leads to enlargement of the tongue, as does deposition of glycogen in the tongue muscles in glycogen storage disease and deposition of amyloid (a fibrous carbohydrate-protein complex) in amyloidosis. Enlargement of the tongue can cause several problems including speech impediment and difficulty in breathing and swallowing.
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