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Geographic Tongue

Abstract

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NORD is very grateful to Esther L. B. Childers, DDS, Chair, Department of Diagnostic Services; Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Howard University College of Dentistry, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Geographic Tongue

  • benign migratory glossitis
  • BMG
  • erythema areata migrans
  • erythema migrans
  • geographic stomatitis
  • wandering rash of the tongue

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No subdivisions found.

General Discussion

Geographic tongue is a benign condition characterized by inflammation of the tongue (glossitis) that appears in a map-like (geographic) pattern. The normal tongue is covered by a layer of small bumps known as papillae. In affected individuals, certain areas of the tongue are missing these bumps. These affected areas usually appear as smooth, red or pink colored, degenerated (atrophic) patches. Geographic tongue tends to come and go it usually heals without treatment, but will recur again usually affecting a different area of the tongue. Most cases are not associated with any symptoms (asymptomatic) and the condition usually goes away without treatment. Geographic tongue is not associated with any long-term health complications in healthy individuals. The exact cause of geographic tongue is unknown.

Organizations related to Geographic Tongue

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