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What is tongue spasm?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Tongue spasm is a condition that causes a person's tongue to move in short, jerky motions. Tongue spasm happens to people without their willingness or control, which means that it is an involuntary condition. Tongue spasm can be temporary or permanent, and it can be caused by an underlying disorder, or it can be the result of taking certain medications.

Tongue spasm is an informal name for a condition that doctors call lingual dystonia. Lingual means tongue, while dystonia is a medical term for a disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions, or spasms. Tongue spasms can make it difficult to swallow food. A tongue spasm may develop due to nerve problems or may be a side effect of particular medications. Treatment for tongue spasm will depend on the underlying cause.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.