While brushing your teeth, have you ever stopped to look at your tongue? How does it look? Many people have heard about Geographic Tongue and wonder if they suffer from it. Today we´ll tell you what is this condition about and how to treat it.
What is Geographic Tongue?
Geographic tongue is an inflammatory condition that affects the surface of the human tongue. Although it looks painful, it’s totally harmless. But it can cause tongue discomfort and increased sensitivity to certain substances, such as spices, salt and even sweets.
When someone suffers from this condition, the surface and sides of the tongue will look smooth, with a reddish color and often with slightly raised borders, like a map-like appearance.
In some cases, the condition is not only located in the tongue, but also the in different areas of the mouth.
Do I Suffer from Geographic Tongue?
Many people with geographic tongue have no symptoms, but when they do some of these may include:
- Red irregularly shaped patches on the top or side of the tongue
- Frequent changes in the location, size and shape of lesions
- Discomfort, pain or burning sensation when eating spicy or acidic foods
If you have experienced some of these symptoms and are wondering whether you have Geographic Tongue or not, we advise you to schedule an appointment with your dentist of trust. Seeing your dentist is the best way to obtain a proper diagnostic, in most cases, they will be able to determine if you have geographic tongue by your description of the symptoms and from examining your mouth and tongue.
Treatment for Geographic Tongue
This condition can continue for days, months or years, and it often resolves on its own but that does not mean it’s gone forever, there´s always a chance it can come back.
If you have persistent pain or discomfort don´t forget to tell your dentist, he or she may prescribe the following:
- Pain relievers
- Mouth rinses with anesthetics
- A Nutritional Plan
- Avoid Tobacco
Causes of Geographic Tongue
It occurs when parts of the tongue are missing layers of small bumps called papillae. They normally cover the entire upper layer of your tongue. Why do you lose these papillae with geographic tongue? Nobody knows for sure. However, because geographic tongue tends to run in families, genetics may be a common link.
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Disclaimer: All content shown in this blog and in any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Any recommendations are based on personal, not professional, opinion only. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern about their dental care and treatments, please contact us directly. For more information please read our Disclaimers and FAQ pages.