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Have you developed red, smooth patches on your tongue? Are there no papillae (tiny bumps) in these patches? Do these patches change their size and shape? You may have developed a condition called geographic tongue (named for its map-like appearance).

What Causes Geographic Tongue?

There is no known cause for this condition, though some believe that it may be related to psoriasis, a chronic skin condition. It has been found that those with a family history of geographic tongue or those who develop fissured tongue are more likely to have geographic tongue.

Is Geographic Tongue Dangerous For Your Health?

Geographic tongue will not cause harm to your health. In fact, one of the names of this condition is benign migratory glossitis. Some people may experience increased sensitivity or discomfort when they eat acidic, salty, or spicy foods, but that is really the only problem.

Can Geographic Tongue Be Treated?

This condition usually doesn’t need any treatment since it does not cause problems. However, you should still visit your dentist or doctor to have it professionally diagnosed. There are other conditions which look similar to geographic tongue, but they can cause harm to your health. Often geographic tongue will go away on its own after a few months or years. If you want to treat any discomfort you experience from geographic tongue, avoid foods which cause oral irritation and ask your dentist about mouthwashes and ointments you can use.