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Geographic tongue is a harmless condition that affects the upper surface of your tongue. Although it is a benign condition just like a hairy tongue, it can cause discomfort. What causes geographic tongue? And is it treatable? Read on quickly!
Geographic tongue, also called lingua geographica in the medical world, is a benign condition of the tongue. It involves an abnormal surface of the top and sides of the tongue. It is characterised by smooth spots interspersed with white areas and lines. This pattern resembles a map, hence the name ‘geographic tongue’. The condition occurs regularly. About 1 to 2% of the population suffers from it.
Despite looking strange, a geographic tongue is harmless and not contagious. Geographic tongue is on the upper surface of the tongue. These are smooth red spots surrounded by a white-grey batter. The red spots occur because the tongue papillae have become much smaller (atrophy). The red spots recover continuously and then reappear in a different place on the tongue.
Doctors still do not know the exact cause of a geographic tongue. It does often occur within the same families. Genes and hereditary factor therefore probably play an important role in whether or not you get a geographic tongue. Symptoms may also get worse due to the following risk factors:
– Psoriasis (skin inflammatory condition);
– Atopic eczema
– Allergies (atopic eczema or hay fever);
– Hormonal fluctuations (menstruation, stopping the pill);
– Highly spicy or acidic foods;
– Vitamin deficiency (too low a level of iron, zinc, folic acid or vitamin B).
A geographic card tongue is usually easy to recognise. Therefore, further examination is usually not necessary. Apart from a burning sensation, there are usually no other symptoms. Although there is no known medicine or treatment for geographical tongue, doctors can use medication to relieve the pain during eating somewhat. Furthermore, it is advisable to buy toothpaste or toothpaste tablets suitable for sensitive mouths.
Sometimes you can prevent a geographical tongue. If there is a vitamin deficiency, it is advisable to supplement it with healthy food and aids such as tablets. In addition, it is wise to always take good care of your teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly. Also, visit the dentist and dental hygienist twice a year. Use a toothpaste or toothpaste tablets suitable for sensitive teeth.
Frequently asked questions
What is a geographic tongue?
Map tongue, also called lingua geographica in the medical world, is a benign condition of the tongue. It involves an abnormal surface of the tongue. It is characterised by smooth spots interspersed with white areas and lines. This pattern resembles a map, hence the name 'map tongue'.
What causes a geographic tongue?
There can be several causes of a map tongue. In fact, doctors still don't know exactly what is the exact cause of a map tongue. Genes and hereditary factor often play an important role. Symptoms can also get worse due to the following risk factors: stress, vitamin deficiency, psoriasis, atopic eczema, allergies (atopic eczema or hay fever), diabetes, anaemia, diabetes or highly spicy or acidic food.
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