Geographic tongue occurs when patches of the rough surface
(papillae) of the tongue disappear, sometimes rapidly. The absence of papillae
makes those parts of the tongue appear to look like a map, with smooth, bright
The cause of geographic tongue is not known, although it could be
linked with allergies. In some cases geographic tongue causes soreness and
burning. There is no specific treatment, although home treatment measures may
relieve the soreness of geographic tongue. It may take a month for the tongue
to regain its normal texture.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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