Geographic Tongue Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Geographic Tongue

What Is Geographic Tongue?

Geographic tongue is a map-like appearance on the upper surface and sides of the tongue.

It is an inflammatory condition of the mucous membrane of the tongue, usually on the dorsal surface

It is characterized by areas of smooth, red depapillation which migrate over time.

Causes Of Geographic Tongue:

Geographic tongue occurs when parts of the tongue are missing layers of small bumps called papillae

However, cause of geographic tongue is yet unknown.

Having a fissured tongue and family history of geographic tongue increases the probability of developing one yourself.

Symptoms Of Geographic Tongue:

The signs and symptoms include:

  • Smooth, red, irregularly shaped patches (lesions) on the top or side of the tongue

These patches may:

  1. Have a white or light-colored border
  2. Vary in size, shape, and color
  3. Appear one area, and then move to another area
  4. Come and go or change very quickly in days, weeks, or months
  5. Last up to a year
  • Frequent changes in the location, size and shape of lesions
  • Discomfort, pain or burning sensation in some cases, most often related to eating hot, spicy, salty or acidic foods

Diagnosis Of Geographic Tongue:

In order to diagnose geographic tongue, the dentist may:

  • Use a lighted instrument to examine the tongue and mouth
  • Ask one to move his/her tongue around in various positions
  • Gently touch (palpate) the tongue to check for tenderness or unusual changes in the tongue’s texture or consistency
  • Check for signs of infection, such as fever or swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Treatment Of Geographic Tongue:

Being a harmless condition, no such treatment is required.

However, based on symptoms doctors may prescribe medicines to provide comfort to the patient.

By : Natural Health News