advertisement
Updated 19 May 2015

Geographic tongue

Geographic tongue is a form of glossitis (inflammation of the tongue).

1

Description

Geographical tongue is a form of glossitis - called benign migratory glossitis.

Cause

Glossitis can indicate other problems, which may be local, such as poorly-fitting dentures, irritants such as alcohol, tobacco and spicy foods. It can also be a sign of diseases such as vitamin deficiencies or anaemia. Geographic tongue is not associated with any of the above.

Geographic tongue is characterized by smooth areas (absence of normal taste buds) on the tongue with a slightly elevated whitish border. The shape of lesions is variable (= geographic).

Lesions change shape over a period of days. These lesions do not cause symptoms.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for geographic tongue.

When to see your doctor

You should see your doctor if you have any abnormality of the tongue, particularly if the appearance is strange or it is painful.

Reviewed by Prof H.F. Jordaan

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

The debate continues »

Working out in the concrete jungle 7 top butt exercises for guys 10 things pole dancing can do for you

The running vs. walking debate

There are many different theories when it comes to the running vs. walking for health and weight loss.

Veganism a crime? »

Running the Comrades Marathon on a vegan diet Are vegans unnatural beasts? Can a vegan be really healthy?

Should it be a crime to raise a baby on vegan food?

After a number of cases of malnourishment in Italy, it may become a crime to feed children under 16 a vegan diet.