Geographic tongue

Geographic tongue, or benign migratory glossitis, is a condition which affects the surface of the tongue. With this condition, red patches can be seen on the tongue. This condition is not detrimental and does not cause any pain. The tongue consists of pinkish-white papillae. Papillae are basically caused by the bacteria in the mouth and are shed away naturally.

Sometimes, the papillae vanish from some parts of the tongue and patches appear. These patches have a map-like appearance; and the reason for the condition being called geographic tongue. With this condition, one part of the tongue becomes infected, and later, the effect moves from that area of the tongue to another.

The actual cause of the condition is still vague, however, some factors which can trigger the condition have been identified by experts. It has been observed that the condition can be inherited from parents and that it has more to do with genes.Vitamin deficiency is also considered to be among the factors which trigger geographic tongue. It has been observed that people who are more susceptible to environmental sensitivities, such as asthma patients or people who are allergic to different items, commonly suffer from geographic tongue.

The treatment depends on the presumed cause of the condition. Mint has been found to be very supportive as a treatment item. People suffering from geographic tongue can chew mint leaves or mint flavored chewing gum, sweets, etc.