Uvulitis

Uvulitis is redness and soreness (inflammation) of the uvula. The uvula is the small tongue-shaped piece of tissue in the back of your mouth.

CAUSES

Infection is a common cause of uvulitis. Infection of the uvula can be either viral or bacterial. Infectious uvulitis usually only occurs in association with another condition, such as inflammation and infection of the mouth or throat. 

Other causes of uvulitis include:

  • Trauma to the uvula.

  • Swelling from excess fluid buildup (edema), which may be an allergic reaction.

  • Inhalation of irritants, such as chemical agents, smoke, or steam.

DIAGNOSIS

Your caregiver can usually diagnose uvulitis through a physical examination. Bacterial uvulitis can be diagnosed through the results of the growth of samples of bodily substances taken from your mouth (cultures).

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Rest as much as possible.

  • Young children may suck on frozen juice bars or frozen ice pops. Older children and adults may gargle with a warm or cold liquid to help soothe the throat. (Mix ¼ tsp of salt in 8 oz of water, or use strong tea.)

  • Use a cool-mist humidifier to lessen throat irritation and cough.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.

  • While the throat is very sore, eat soft or liquid foods such as milk, ice cream, soups, or milk drinks.

  • Family members who develop a sore throat or fever should have a medical exam or throat culture.

  • If your child has uvulitis and is taking antibiotic medicine, wait 24 hours or until his or her temperature is near normal (less than 100° F [37.8° C]) before allowing him or her to return to school or day care.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results. 

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You develop large, tender lumps your the neck.

  • Your child develops a rash.

  • You cough up green, yellow-brown, or bloody substances.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You develop any new symptoms, such as vomiting, earache, severe headache, stiff neck, chest pain, or trouble breathing or swallowing.

  • Your airway is blocked.

  • You develop more severe throat pain along with drooling or voice changes.