The pattern seen in this photograph is consistent with the diagnosis of geographic tongue. This condition is also known as benign migratory glossitis. Geographic tongue is characterized by white striations surrounding red smooth areas on the top surface of the tongue. The picture above is taken from a healthy 30 year old woman who came to our modern Jerusalem dental office for the first time to see our Jerusalem dentist for a complete exam and cleaning. She hadn’t been having any pain or discomfort. She hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. The standard first part of the oral exam conducted by all of our dentists includes a detailed exam of the mouth and oral cancer screening including the: hard palate, soft palate, gingiva(gums), floor of the mouth, and tongue.
Geographic tongue is so intriguing to dentists because of the following:
The patterns can change from time to time
In general, there is no feeling of discomfort to the patient. In fact no symptoms at all ( In few cases there is mild tongue discomfort.)
It creates no restrictions in terms of taste or function
It affects 2-3% of the population.
It requires no treatment.
It is benign.
It may disappear over time, but it may not.
Dentists and Oral pathologists do not know the cause.
It’s one of the elements that makes every person unique.
If you think that you may have geographic tongue, it is crucial that in Jerusalem you see your dentist at Landau Dental as soon as possible for a definitive diagnosis. Other pathologies need to be ruled out, including(but limited to): atrophic glossitis, chemical burn, lichen planus, erythematous candidiasis, lupus erythematosus, glossitis, leukoplakia.