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Tongue tremor

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Hello im a 39 year old female , I have developed a tremor in my tongue which never goes away , it started about three months ago , if I lay on my back , I noticed my teeth also "tremor" or "chatter " . I have been getting quite corcerned as the tremor never leaves . I can move my tongue . What could cause this?

Category: Neurologist, Medical

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Category: Pediatric Neurologist
 26 Doctors Online


Thank you for posting your query at

Tremors in tongue need to be evaluated. It is possible that there is no serious underlying cause, however, we need to exclude a lesion in the brainstem (lower part of brain called as medulla oblongata). The tongue gets its nerve supply from that region.

Any disease such as ischemia (lack of blood supply), infection, demyelination and tumor (rarely) in that region may produce tremors in the tongue.

An MRI scan of the brain would be able to exclude these conditions.

I hope my reply has helped. I would be pleased to answer any follow-up queries.

Best wishes.

Dr. Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine), DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist

Patient replied :

Hello Dr. . I have had an MRI Scan and MRA scan of the head a few months ago due to the vertigo , which was normal . I take meclizine and valium . Aside from what you mentioned , is there anything else which could be causing this ?

Thank you for getting back.

It is good to note that your MRI and MR angiogram brain done a few months ago were normal.

Meclizine is safe, however, valium (diazepam) should not be used for long, as it can cause dependence and it would be difficult to come off it later.

I hope it helps.

Best wishes,

Dr. Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine), DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist

Patient replied :

Thank you dr, yes im aware of the depedancy of valium , I am on a low dose due to the severe dizziness and vertigo attacks have been getting daily . But what can be other possible causes of the tongue tremors and when putting my neck back causing teeth chattering , its very scary

Thank you for getting back.

It is good to note that you are on low dose of valium.

There is no need to be scared as your MRI is normal, which excludes all scary conditions.

If all causes are excluded, it can be considered as a part of essential lingual (tongue) tremor or a part of mild dystonia, which may respond to medications such as trihexiphenidyl and beta blockers.

I hope it helps.

Best wishes

Patient replied :

That is good to know , thank you dr. One final question is can the meclizine I have been taking daily 2 to three times a day cause this ?

Thank you for getting back,

Meclizine is a safe medication at the dose you are taking, and that is not the cause of your symptoms.

Best wishes,

Dr. Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine), DM (Neurology)

Dr. Sudhir Kumar
Category: Pediatric Neurologist
Senior Residency, Fellowship: DM, Neurology, CMC, Vellore, 2001
Junior Residency: MD, Internal Medicine, CMC, Vellore, 1998
Medical School: MBBS, Christian Medical College, Vellore, 1995
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