What is? A Geographic Tongue is a benign inflammatory pathology of the filiform taste buds of the tongue, which is manifest in exuberant lesions that resemble a map - hence its name. This condition is also known as Benign Migratory Glossitis, reflecting the migratory character of these lesions, as the inflamed site of the tongue changes in each episode, alternating with periods when the tongue does not show any lesion! It affects 3% of the general population, and 33% of people who have a fissured tongue. It is also more common in people with psoriasis, asthma, and eczema who are taking certain medications. It almost exclusively affects adults, but has been described in children.
Should I seek medical treatment? You should seek a doctor who can detect oral lesions that are similar to Geographic Tongue but, in reality, may be more serious. This doctor should also be able to advise you on how to reduce the discomfort of inflammation attacks, but reassure you about the nature of the disease. At the Instituto Português da Face, we have an Oral Medicine team that uses laser in photobiomodeling for patients with painful episodes and greater inflammation. Each case is different, and each person should seek the best follow-up with someone they trust.