How did Hunter's glossitis get its name?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Hunter's glossitis refers to pain and swelling in the tongue because of a vitamin deficiency. It was named after William Hunter, a Scottish physician who discovered the condition. He actually studied pernicious anemia more than oral conditions like glossitis. His research on pernicious anemia was somewhat flawed, but his major contribution came when he discovered the connection between pernicious anemia and the swelling and redness of the tongue. He called this tongue condition "Hunter's glossitis".

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