- Geographic Tongue is a harmless common benign condition affecting approximately 3% of the population.
- The cause is unknown. It is not an infection.
- It is characterized by irregular, smooth red patches on the tongue, which are surrounded by pale well defined margins and may look like the outline of a map.
- The patches may come and go in the same or a different position and /or change in shape or size.
- The condition usually affects the upper surface and sides of the tongue and can present at any age.
- Geographic tongue is usually diagnosed by its appearance and a biopsy is rarely required.
- There is no known cure, and the condition can last a lifetime.
- The condition may cause pain, a burning or stinging sensation, especially after eating certain foods such as spicy and citrus foods. Generally avoid foods that make any discomfort worse. Some mouthwashes such as Difflam oral rinse can make the condition more comfortable.