How to get rid of geographic tongue? Treatment

How to Get Rid of Geographic Tongue

Geographic tongue usually resolves on its own, but medications can help manage symptoms

In most cases, geographic tongue does not require medical treatment. Although the condition can cause discomfort, it does not pose serious health risks. Medications that may be recommended to manage the symptoms of geographic tongue include:

However, because these therapies have not been rigorously researched, their effectiveness is uncertain. Geographic tongue can also resolve on its own, so it can be difficult to tell if treatments are working.

What is Geographic Tongue?

Geographic tongue is an inflammatory disorder that affects the surface of your tongue. Your tongue is usually covered with papillae, which are small, pinkish-white projections that look like bumps. With geographic tongue, these papillae are missing in some areas, causing smooth red patches with slightly raised edges.

Patches can appear in different areas of the tongue and move from one area to another. The condition is also known as benign migratory glossitis.

What causes geographic tongue?

There is no known cause for geographic tongue, although several factors may be involved, including:

None of these factors, however, have been definitively linked to geographic tongue.

There may be a link between geographic tongue and psoriasis, which is an autoimmune skin condition. It has been shown that patients who suffer from psoriasis have a higher incidence of geographic tongue. Some believe that a geographic tongue is a type of oral psoriasis.

What are the symptoms of geographic tongue?

Geographic tongue is characterized by island-shaped lesions that give the tongue a map-like appearance. These lesions can appear on the top and sides of the tongue. They look jagged and uneven, and sometimes there is a white border or edge around them.

The lesions can be painless and usually pose no risk. They are not a sign of cancer, infection or any other significant medical condition. Instead, irregularly shaped dots indicate that inflammation is damaging the surface of your tongue.

Here are some possible signs and symptoms of a geographic tongue:

  • Smooth, velvety lesions that are bright red and have an unusual shape and location on the top or side of the tongue
  • Frequent changes in position, size, and contour of lesions
  • Discomfort, pain, or burning when eating acidic or spicy foods

If symptoms do appear, they can last for days, months, or even years. Geographic tongue will often go away on its own but may reappear in the future.


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Medical examination on 06/22/2022


Image source: iStock image

Cleveland Clinic. Geographic language.

National organization for rare diseases. Geographic language.



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