Symptoms of Geographic Tongue and Its Treatments

Geographic Tongue Symptoms

Patients with geographic tongue may have one or several symptoms that are associated with the condition. These symptoms include:

  • Appearance of smooth and irregular shaped patches or lesions in the tongue that have a reddish color. This can be seen on top and on the sides of the tongue and sometimes appears raw and map-like.

  • Itchiness inside the mouth partnered with a bad taste.

  • Sensitivity of the tongue to spicy, sour, citrus, salty and mint foods.

  • Pain, discomfort and burning sensation in the tongue.

  • Frequent and continuing changes of the appearance of the patches or lesions. Size, location and shape of the patches can change in an hourly or daily basis. This is caused by the loss of tiny protrusions in the tongue that are termed as papillae.

  • Fissures on the tongue.

  • Temporary numbing of the tongue.

  • Lesions that have gray to yellowish colored borders.

  • White-colored lesion borders.

  • Lesions in the lips.

  • Sore tongue

Geographic Tongue Causes

Exact cause of geographic tongue has not been established.

But there are several factors that contribute to its development. These factors include:

  • Deficiency in vitamin B

  • Eating too much spicy foods.

  • Heavy and constant consumption of alcohol.

  • Genetic predisposition. The condition can run in the family.

  • Fissured tongues or having grooves and cracks on the sides and the top surface of the tongue.

  • Psoriasis or a chronic problem of the skin which allows sin cells to grow in a very fast rate that leads to appearance of patches in the skin that are colored white, silver and red can also contribute to the development of the condition.

Geographic Tongue Treatment

  • Pain relievers that can be bought over the counter can help in controlling symptoms especially the pain that can sometimes be experienced.

  • Anti-inflammatory medications can also be taken to reduce redness and sores.

  • Anesthetic mouth rinses can help clean and heal the lesions.

  • Corticosteroids are also another treatment option that is used by directly applying it on the surface of the part of the tongue that has been affected.

  • Patients should take zinc supplements if they are prone to having the condition or if it runs in the family. Zinc-rich food should be regularly consumed.

  • To provide faster relief of associated symptoms, patients should limit or totally avoid smoking and toothpaste with additives, whitening, and heavy flavoring. Foods that are hot, spicy, salty, and acidic should also be avoided.

  • Administration of antihistamines. These should be checked with a doctor first before administration to prevent further complications.

  • In most cases, treatment is unnecessary when pain and discomfort is not involved since the affected tongue can cure itself without any medication.

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