There are numerous issues that can cause infections in the mouth, but one of the oddest-looking oral conditions is Geographic Tongue. It is not an infection or sign of disease, nor is it a sign of oral cancer. In fact, most people that have it are generally healthy.
Geographic tongue happens when the papillae (the small bumps that cover the tongue) start to disappear from the tongue in random areas. They leave smooth red patches in all different sizes and give the tongue a map-looking appearance. These peculiar blotches may change position on a daily basis. The condition is not usually painful those some patients have reported some discomfort or burning when they eat spicy foods.
The trigger of Geographic Tongue is still unknown though it seems the condition is hereditary. Other possible causes may be stress, allergies or changes in hormones. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating spicy foods may also perpetuate the problem or make it worse.
If you think you may Geographic Tongue and your symptoms are present for 10 days or longer, make an appointment to see us to rule out any other serious oral health problems. Geographic Tongue usually resolves itself without any special treatment after a few weeks or months.