Geographic tongue

From ArticleWorld

Geographic tongue is a benign medical condition affecting the tongue. It gets its name from the map-like appearance of the tongue that it causes.

A geographic tongue has streaky, denuded patches surrounded by white borders. While the etiology of the disorder is not understood well, what happens is generally described in terms of erythema The upper side of the tongue has numerous tiny protrusions called filiform papillae. Some people start losing patches of papillae, leaving the area looking flat and pale, and surrounded by a white border. The papillae are formed again and there is no pattern to the loss, so the 'map' shifts and changes constantly. Sometimes lesions appear on the tongue, though they self-heal and vanish.

Geographic tongue is generally painless, though some people report burning when they eat hot, spicy, or citrus food. There is not much information on what causes this condition, though there is indication that it might be genetic and exacerbated by allergies. Geographic tongue affects more adults than children and women than men. There is no treatment regime for geographic tongue, although some people note improvement with higher doses of vitamin B1 and antihistamines.