Geographic Tongue, also called Benign Migratory Glossitis, is a condition of the oral mucosa that occurs in 3% of the population and I encounter this skin disease in both my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology clinics. Geographic Tongue occurs with increased incidence in Psoriasis patients. Clinically, the tongue appears to change in appearance on an hourly to daily basis with areas of smooth red patches surrounded by serpiginous white plaques. The oral mucosa can be involved as well. Geographic Tongue is a benign condition but some patients may experience a burning sensation when consuming spicy, acidic or salty foods. The cause of Geographic Tongue is unknown but the smooth red appearance is due to loss of the filliform papillae and an increase in white blood cells has been found in the smooth red areas. Patients with Geographic Tongue also have an increased incidence of having Fissured Tongue in which deep grooves are found throughout the tongue. There is no treatment for Geographic Tongue.
March 25, 2011
Medically reviewed by Anthony J. Perri, M.D.
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