Geographic Tongue

Geographic Tongue is an inflammatory condition of the tongue affecting approximately 2 percent of the population. It is characterized by discolored regions of taste buds or sometimes even cracks in the tongue. The condition manifests after eating any of a range of foods, during times of stress, illness, or hormonal changes in women. In a tongue affected by geographic tongue, red patches on the surface of the tongue are bordered by grayish white. The small patches may disappear and reappear in a short period of time and change in shape and size. It is not common for the condition to cause pain, it may cause a burning or stinging sensation, especially after contact with certain foods. Foods that sometimes cause irritation include tomato, eggplant, walnuts, sharp cheeses, spicy foods, sour foods, mint, candy, and citrus. Geographic tongue may also cause numbness. Chemicals like mouth washes or teeth whiteners can also aggravate the condition. If you think you might have geographic tongue consult your dentist.