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Geographic tongue


Posted on 12/10/2021 by Shiv Sharma, DDS
Geographic tongueGeographic tongue is an inflammatory condition that causes recurrent lesions on the tongue. On their tongues, people with this condition have smooth, reddish areas with white borders. The red patches lack the small bumps (papillae) that normally develop on the tongue's surface. The lesions on the tongue form a map-like geographic appearance. These lesions migrate from one area to another part of the tongue and though it is not an infection it causes discomfort and sensitivity after using some substances like spices, sweets, and salt.

Who is affected by geographic tongue


It is also called benign migratory glossitis because it moves from one part of the tongue to the other. The geographic tongue is mainly among young adults but it also appears in babies and children.

Symptoms of geographic tongue


The first symptom of a geographic tongue is the appearance of a map-like pattern on the tongue. The symptoms come and go and can last a few years or weeks. Having red spots on the tongue is another symptom, the patterns formed have white or grey borders. The patches appear on all sides of the tongue like sides, top, or even tip of the tongue. The patches move and can appear and disappear, changing location and shape over some time.

The absence of papillae which are tiny bumps coating and this protects the entire tongue that helps in chewing food. The burning sensation is another symptom where there is a tingling and stinging sensation on the tongue mainly when eating. Having patches in other parts of the mouth is a symptom of a geographic tongue. The patches can be on gums, inside cheeks, or in the mouth.

Identifying a geographic tongue


Having tongue pain and smooth, red spots on the tongue that look like a map shows that you have a geographic tongue. Geographic tongue is harmless, visit us so that the dentist can rule out if you have other medical conditions or it is just geographical tongue.

Thank you for trusting us with your oral health. Give us a call at (650) 321-9693 .



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2875 Middlefield Rd Suite #1
Palo Alto, CA 94306-2548


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