Q: The mass circled is most likely a:
oral pathology, mass, lingual thyroid, dental hygiene exam prep
oral pathology, mass, lingual thyroid, dental hygiene exam prep

Q: The mass circled is most likely a:

(A). Circumvallate papillae
(B). Filiform papillae
(C). Fungiform papillae
(D). Lingual thyroid

As a child, when the thyroid gland descends to its normal location in the neck, the tissues can become entrapped in the tongue. When this happens, as a mass in the midline of the dorsal surface of the tongue will appear. This is called the lingual thyroid. This nodule can be noticed in the area posterior to the circumvallate papillae around the foramen cecum.

Answer: (D). Lingual thyroid

Learn more for the dental hygiene boards

Here is more information about some structure of the tongue (because I know you want more)!

o   Filiform papillae: most numerous papillae on the dorsal surface.

o   Fungiform papillae: mushroom-shaped papillae, appear as red dots.

o   Sulcus terminalis: V-shaped groove separating the body and base of the tongue.

o   Lingual papillae: larger papillae at the base of the tongue.

o   Circumvallate papillae: larger papillae lined along the sulcus terminalis (10-14 in number).

o   Foramen cecum: depression located in the midline of the tongue in the V-shaped groove.

oral pathology, tongue structures, dental hygiene exam prep

Lingual thyroid vs lingual tonsil

One common mistake we can make if we do NOT correctly remember the information is to confuse lingual tonsils and lingual thyroid. Those are two different parts of our body! If we read the questions too fast in our dental hygiene boards, we are in danger of choosing the wrong answer. Today, in the “related post” link (see below), I chose to put the 5 test-taking tips, which include “read the questions as if you are learning a new language, word by word, to avoid mistakes.

Lingual tonsils are a group of lymphoid nodules (30-100 follicles) located in the posterior third of the tongue. This creates the reticular pattern at the base of the tongue. Its precise location is between the circumvallate papillae and the lining of vallecula that extends to the root of the epiglottis. The tonsils are parts of the lymphatic system that wards off harmful substances and infection. The lingual tonsil basically protects us from upper respiratory tract infections. The lingual tonsil enlarges from birth until the person reaches 7 years of age and eventually shrinks as one grows old. The lingual tonsil becomes enlarged and painful in the presence of inflammation, allergy, or infection.

oral pathology, head and neck anatomy, lingual tonsils, dental hygiene exam prep

And as a recap, the Lingual thyroid is an abnormal mass of ectopic thyroid tissue seen in the base of the tongue caused due to embryological aberrancy in development of thyroid gland.

Oral pathology is also a big part of the Dental Hygiene Board Exams (NBDHE, NDHCE, WREB, CDCA). As a #FutureRDH or #RDH, we are oral health care professionals who need to identify potentially harmful pathology. At StudentRDH, we have a fantastic chapter that features images and bullet-point notes about the most important oral pathologies you need to know for the board exams. The textbook you use is also great, so you can use both to get everything you need.

If you are already a FULL member at StudentRDH, access the chapter of oral pathology and continue studying. If you want to sign up, start here! All of your efforts will pay off, so keep pushing!

#FabRDH #Almost done

Related post: NBDHE test taking tips

(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS
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