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Geographic tongue: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The geographic tongue, medically referred to as migratory glossitis, is a benign and temporary condition that affects the surface of the language, which becomes inflamed, and white and reddish patches or spots that give it the appearance of a map, hence the name it has adopted. This occurs because the taste buds lose their natural color. Although the exact causes of this loss are unknown, it is an alteration that has been associated with different factors, as can be seen throughout this article. In many cases, it is a condition that goes unnoticed and does not cause discomfort. Still, there are others in which pain can be experienced, in addition to irritations or visible lesions on the tongue. For this reason, and especially when symptoms are persistent, it is advisable to consult a specialist. At FastlyHealwe, delve into the subject and show they are the causes and treatment of geographic tongue; pay attention!

Causes of geographic tongue

As we have pointed out, the geographic tongue is a benign and temporary condition in most cases that can affect anyone, although it has been proven that it is more frequent in women than in men. When it happens, the taste buds on the upper part of the tongue lose their usual coverage and give rise to small whitish or red spots, creating irregular areas that simulate the appearance of a map.

Although the exact cause of this alteration in the tongue is unknown, it has been pointed out that its appearance may be related to any of the factors shown below:

  • Genetic factors: those who have direct relatives who have suffered from this condition are much more likely to develop it than others.
  • Certain nutritional deficiencies include deficient levels of B vitamins or zinc.
  • The consumption of certain foods is too spicy, spicy, acidic, or irritating. These, in addition, can aggravate the symptoms that occur, such as inflammation, cracks, and discoloration on the tongue. It has also been claimed that both tobacco and alcohol negatively influence.
  • Patients with extreme sensitivity to the environment and, above all, those who suffer from diseases or conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, etc. It can also be associated with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
  • Hormonal alterations, such as those that occur mainly during pregnancy, added to the folic acid deficiency usually experienced at this stage.
  • Emotional factors include going through periods or situations of stress, nervousness, or anxiety. Pressure has been observed to be a factor that worsens this condition and slows its healing.

Symptoms of geographic tongue

The most notable and visible symptoms of this alteration are inflammation and discoloration of the tongue. You can see white or reddish spots, patches, and cracks that usually disappear on their own spontaneously with time. However, they can persist from weeks to months, so many patients decide to seek medical help.

In addition to this, it is convenient to point out that the affected person ignores the geographic tongue condition in many cases because they do not present pain or discomfort. However, others may experience symptoms such as the following:

  • Reddish patches and sores on the tongue move from one area to another.
  • The extreme sensitivity of the tongue.
  • Burning sensation and irritability, which increases when consuming acidic, spicy, or spicy foods.
  • Stinging, itching, and burning pain in some cases.

Treatment for geographic tongue

Although there is no specific treatment to cure the geographic tongue, in case of observing the above symptoms, it is advisable to go to the doctor to receive an accurate diagnosis, as it will be essential for a thorough review of the patient’s medical history, as well as checking if it is an alteration caused by unknown allergies, a specific food or other more severe diseases. This is especially important when symptoms do not go away over time.

To alleviate the discomfort, inflammation, and discomfort that the geographic tongue can cause, the following treatments and measures may be recommended :

  • Specific anti-inflammatory and antihistamine medications may be prescribed to reduce swelling and combat symptoms such as stinging and burning.
  • Use mouthwashes that contain antiseptic and anesthetic agents to lessen discomfort.
  • The application of steroid ointments may also be prescribed in more symptomatic patients.
  • It is essential to control your diet to avoid aggravating symptoms, thus preventing the consumption of ingredients that can be irritating, such as spicy, acidic, or highly seasoned foods. It is also advised to avoid the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene, brushing your teeth and tongue carefully after every meal. You can also use a small gauze to remove altogether the remains of food that may be lodged between the cracks or lesions of the tongue, thus preventing any infection from occurring.
  • As it has been related to the lack of vitamin B and zinc, the consumption of foods that contain these nutrients in the daily diet can be increased.

All this can help alleviate the symptoms of geographic tongue, and although it is a harmless condition in most cases, it can be very annoying and persistent.

When to go to the doctor urgently.

It is always important to remain attentive to the symptoms and the evolution of this alteration on the surface of the tongue, and you should see a doctor urgently if one or more of the following parameters occur:

  • The symptoms of the geographic tongue do not go away on their own after ten days and are persistent.
  • If the language is very swollen or inflamed.
  • If the red spots or patches swell significantly.
  • You have trouble breathing normally.
  • They have trouble speaking, chewing, or swallowing.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Geographic tongue: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Teeth and mouth category .

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