Geographic language

Geographic tongue is a harmless condition characterized by a change in the surface of the tongue, which is usually covered with small pinkish-white bumps / papillae/, which are actually fine hair-like, protrusions.

In this condition, the normal bumps on the tongue have disappeared and the surface appears as smooth, red “islands”, often with slightly raised edges.

These spots /lesions/ the surface of the tongue resemble a geographical map. Lesions often disappear in one area of ​​the tongue and reappear in another. Geographic tongue is also known as benign migratory glossitis.

Although this unusual surface of the tongue may look alarming, it is not a symptom of health problems and does not cause the appearance of malignant growths.

Sometimes this change can cause tongue discomfort and increased sensitivity to certain substances.

What are the symptoms?

• Smooth, red, irregularly shaped patches /lesions/ on the tip or side of the tongue;
• Frequent changes in the location, size and shape of the lesions;
• Discomfort, pain or burning in some cases, most often associated with eating hot, spicy, salty or acidic foods;

Most affected people do not experience any symptoms. DMG often goes away on its own, but sometimes it can linger for months or even years. After it fades, it may reappear.

DMG is harmless, although it can sometimes cause discomfort to the affected person. But lesions sometimes on the tongue may be a sign of more serious diseases affecting the tongue itself or the body as a whole.

If you have tongue lesions that do not go away within 7 to 10 days, seek medical or dental care.

What are the causes?

The cause of geographic tongue is unknown and there is no way to prevent the condition.

Scientists suggest that there may be a connection between the abnormal surface of the tongue and the disease psoriasis, but more research is needed to definitively confirm this condition.

Studies that have been done with a view to establishing the risk factors for DMD are quite controversial.

The factors that are most likely to be associated with an increased risk are:

Family history – some of those affected have relatives who also suffer from DMD and scientists come to the conclusion that there is a hereditary and genetic predisposition;

• Fissured Tongue – Most sufferers also have another condition called fissured tongue, which involves the appearance of deep fissures or indentations on the surface of the tongue.

What are the complications?

DMG is a benign condition and does not pose a threat to human health. It does not cause long-term complications and does not increase the risk of serious health problems.

However, the condition can cause concern because:

• Depending on how the lesions look, their appearance can be unpleasant;
• It is usually difficult to convince a person that the unusual appearance of the tongue is nothing to be concerned about to worry.

Treatment in geographic language

DMG does not require medical treatment.

But if it causes discomfort, such as increased sensitivity and irritation, your doctor may recommend the following:

• Over-the-counter pain relievers;
• Anesthetic mouthwashes;
• Antihistamine mouthwashes;
• Corticosteroids, which are in the form of ointments or solutions mouth rinse;

Because these treatment methods have not been subject to serious scientific research, it is not certain that their application would be beneficial in every patient.

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