Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Geographic Tongue

When my older daughter was still a baby I noticed some reddish patches with white borders on her tongue. Being a first time mom then, I thought it was just a sort of residue from milk. Still, I directed our Pedia's attention to it on one of her regular check-ups. The doctor simply said that my daughter has mapping on her tongue. She did not elaborate and did not put much emphasis on it so I presumed it was nothing to be bothered about.

When my daughter was older, there were instances while we were eating when she would cry and say, "I have ouch on my tongue." Upon inspection, I would notice the smooth like patches on her tongue again. It really puzzled me because there were times when the patches are not there at all. After some time, I had observed that my daughter would complain about hurting her tongue especially when we were eating food with spices or with sour taste. This prompted me to do a bit of research which led me to sites about geographic tongue. Finally, my daughter's condition has a name.

Geographic tongue or benign migratory glossitis, a condition affecting the tongue has no known cause but tends to run in families. I don't have it and no one in our family has it. My husband doesn't have it so does his parents and siblings. So, I really don't know where my daughter got it from.

Geographic tongue is a benign condition. It is not dangerous to health, it is self-limiting and it does not require treatment. There are foods though that could aggravate the condition as I had observed with my daughter. Avoidance of foods that could exacerbate or cause pain to the tongue is therefore recommended.

Geographic tongue is common to people with psoriasis and also to those who have allergies, eczema as well as asthma. It occurs in around 2% of people in all ages, sexes and races and affects females three times more than males and more often appears in adults than in children.

If you observe closely someone who has a geographic tongue, you will notice that the pattern changes every time. It does look like an ever-changing map. In my daughter's case, sometimes there are bright red patches, sometimes they simply look like bald spots and there are also times when I don't see anything at all.

I'm no longer worried about my daughter's geographic tongue after learning more about it and I'm instilling in her the idea that it's not something she should be ashamed about. I do hope however that it will completely go away so that she could explore more her taste in food.

57 comments:

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I actually have the same thing !
I've never really suffered any ill effect from it, aside from remotely noticeable tenderness at times.

It doesn't have to curb your daughters eating habits in any way, I eat plenty(and probably unhealthy amounts) of heavily spiced foods, Indian & Thai especially.

Maybe we should start a support group ;-)

FOOTPRINTS (aka ourfootprints aka Annita) said...

eagerblogger, once a while Emily too has a geographic tongue. Yes sometimes she also complains that she just hurt her tongue.

I agree w/ you that some food might trigger this. Perhaps acidic fruits?

Btw, I hope you all feel much better from the flu!! ^_^

Have a blessed week my friend ^_^

eagerblogger said...

hello xbox4nappyrash!

I love spicy foods. I enjoy eating curry but when I do make one at home I try not to make it too spicy for my daughter. The first time she tasted a pineapple she cried. Her tongue has lots of red patches then.

Having a support group is a great idea but maybe you'll get bored talking about nothing but...your tongue, LOL.

eagerblogger said...

Hello footprints!

Nice to hear from you again. Both my husband and my toddler still have cough and colds. Occasionally I do too but it's mostly allergic reaction.

I agree with you. Acidic foods do trigger some discomfort.

zunnur said...

Hi eagerblogger, I'm glad that I read this post, because my younger daughter has got this, and she has allergies as well. Initially, I thought that it was caused by the teat resting on the the toungue too long during milk feeding. Thanks for the good info.

Anonymous said...

my 8 year old sonhas this didnt think much about it as it often happens when he has an allergic reaction which is good in one way as he tells me his tounge is itchy so i ca give him medicine or keep an eye on him before the reaction gets severe. It has actually helped me as he now knows when he is having a reaction. good luck too you all belinda xxx

Anonymous said...

my gp told me today that master 2 has this condition. I have asked many times before and never been told.I thought it was fungal and have self treated him with thrush treatments for this for as long as i can remember.I then thought it may be because he sucks the top of pop top drinks and that it may be hurting him from that.It's a relief to know there is a name for this, I can stop thinking about it now.

Emmy Teague said...

hi im emmy from minnesota.. i just found out that my 18 month old son braxton has this.. are there any support groups out there for this? im really confused on what to feed him etc.. hes still mostley breastfed. the drs were no help and said its no big deal.. but it is to me if i give him foods that will cause him pain.. hopin to get to know other parents who have kiddos with the same thing.. someone please let me know if youd be interested and ill start up a support group BratInBootz@yahoo.com

eagerblogger said...

Hello Emmy! I don't about support groups already existing for this condition but I think that would also be nice. One thing I can assure you though, there's nothing to worry at all. As my daughter gets older she's learning to cope with it as well as know her limitations regarding eating spicy or acidic food. These are the type of food that irritate her tongue. I suggest you just stay away from them until your son is old enough to know his own limitations or verbalize what he feels. :)

stephsali said...

I also have geographic tongue. I seen a doctor for it when I was a teenager. He assured me that I was fine and that the cause was unknown. He told me taking a multivitamin daily would often put it into remission or at least help somewhat. It worked!! If i take my vitamin daily I rarely have an episode, and if I do it is very mild. If I stop the vitamins, my geographic tongue returns in just a few days. I hope this info helps, it sure helped me!

A. said...

I've had geographic tongue as long as I can remember (preschool). I'm 37 now and while it doesn't happen as often, I have the same few triggers: pineapple, tomatoes, and walnuts (spicy food has never bothered me). It doesn't happen every time I eat them, so either I'm just not as sensitive as I used to be, or it depends on the acidity of what I'm eating.

I wonder about the walnuts, though, and always forget to check and see if they have higher acidity - have never understood how walnuts would be a trigger!

Anonymous said...

i have GT and its embarressing i wish i could get rid of it

Anonymous said...

My son is 3 years old and I was concerned, I thought this was a condition of a fall he had when he was 21 months, but yesterday he had his dental check up and his dentist said that it was hereditary, that it was something that I should not worry . Now that I have read this comment and that it actually has a name I feel better. Thank you all for all your comments on this condition, I feel more relieve knowing that my son will be ok.

Anonymous said...

hi i also suffer from geographic tongue,im now 33 and have suffered for as long as i can remember it just seems to have got worse as ive got older.mine seems to get worse in times of stress or heavy work loads as i feel myself getting tired and run down so im starting to think it is related to that and being vitamin deficiant.my tounge gets so sore and yes things like kiwi fruit,tomatoes,pineapple and fruit juices sting like hell im so sick of the mouth pain as i often get mouth ulcers at the same time as well as sore glands in my neck if anyone has any remedys that work i would love to hear about them thanx.

eagerblogger said...

Hello Anonymous!

I use Pyralvex for mouth sores. Solcoseryl (deproteinized calf blood extract + polidocanol) was prescribed to my sister by her dentist when she developed mouth sores brought about by her braces. I suggest you see a doctor who would be able to diagnose and recommend the best treatment for you.

I lifted the following from Wikipedia. Hope it helps.

While there is no known cure or commonly prescribed treatment for geographic tongue, there are several ways to suppress the condition, including avoiding foods which exacerbate the problem. Some people affected by geographic tongue also report that taking Vitamin B supplements causes the condition to go away temporarily. Some groups mention using anti-inflammatory steroids applied topically clears the patches. Burning may also be reduced by taking antihistamines.

It has recently been found that geographic tongue can respond to zinc enhancements, such as Solvazinc,[citation needed] taken orally. This opens up the question as to whether the condition is caused by an allergy or a deficiency.

Casey said...

I have had this for many years too, I'm 35 now. Yes, avoiding trigger foods helps (mine are walnuts, egg plant, and some juices), but it's very ugly. I don't ever want to show anyone my tongue, very embarassing. I also have a fissured tongue, which is commonly associated with GT...this adds to the embarrassment. I love how all the sites say thisis benign and not to woryy about it, but it does cause alot of psychological "irritation"... it's just plain ugly. Anyone have a treatment that has worked for them?

Anonymous said...

My Mom started symptoms of GT when she was in her 40's and guess what..I am 42 and started having problems a couple of years ago. My daughter has had it since she was a small child. Definetly hereditary. I would Love to find a solution to this. Especially when the reaction to some food makes me feel like a knife is making cuts into my tongue! I avoid foods that trigger it as best I can, but there has got to be a way to cure it. Oh, by the way, mine started about 6 months after I stopped allergy shots. Significant?

eagerblogger said...

I really believe stopping your allergy shots has significance but I'm not a doctor so don't take my word for it.

FYI, I have lots of allergies that my daughter with GT has inherited. It seems that my mother-in-law has GT too although she doesn't know what it's all about.

Alyson said...

I'm 32 now and have had this for almost 10 years (my 5 year old nephew has it as well).

Took me a long time to figure out that Oregano is the actual culprit in a lot of the foods that irritate my tongue.

Photoshop Diva said...

I've had GT for as long as I can remember, since preschool maybe? My mom & dad BOTH have it so I didn't stand a chance. I am now 28 and find my irritation 'spells' are more frequent. SImilar to others, I react to tomatoes, pineapple, walnuts, eggplant, most citrus/acidic foods and who knows what else.

I was just reading suggestions on another site that involve switching to non-tartar-control toothpastes, swishing with peroxide, and applying the contents of a broken Benadryl capsule directly to the patches.

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old Daughter has had a tongue ailment for 1 1/2 years. It is extremely painful for her. Her tongue goes through what I would describe as 'stages'. Stage 1: She feels pain and 'hot spots' and then small red dots appear. Stage 2: She develops red ulcers and white patches (yeast infection?). Stage 3: The tongue swells, she drools profusely and the ulcer type sores increase. At this stage she cannot eat and can only be feed with a medicine dropper. Stage 4: Her tongue turns completely white and "sheds". It is extremely painful for her. This is the last stage. We have been to many MD's, ER's and today a Dermatologist. I want to cry every time I think about the pain she is going through but I don't want her to see me do that. She is very strong and even asks "Mommy, is the Doctor going to make my tongue feel better?". The Dermatologist today has diagnosed her with Glossitis Herpetic. But I can't help but look at the Geographic Tongue pictures online without seeing similarities. Does anyone else have these similar symptoms? Please reply to Shedav.

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old Daughter has had a tongue ailment for 1 1/2 years. It is extremely painful for her. Her tongue goes through what I would describe as 'stages'.
Stage 1: She feels pain and 'hot spots' and then small red dots appear. Stage 2: She develops red ulcers and white patches (yeast infection?). Stage 3: The tongue swells, she drools profusely and the ulcer type sores increase. At this stage she cannot eat and can only be feed with a medicine dropper. Stage 4: Her tongue turns completely white and "sheds". It is extremely painful for her. This is the last stage.
We have been to many MD's, ER's and today a Dermatologist. I want to cry every time I think about the pain she is going through but I don't want her to see me do that. She is very strong and even asks "Mommy, is the Doctor going to make my tongue feel better?".
The Dermatologist today has diagnosed her with Glossitis Herpetic. But I can't help but look at the Geographic Tongue pictures online without seeing similarities. Does anyone else have these similar symptoms? Please reply to Shedav.

Anonymous said...

I think I have a cure. It is working for me. First, I bought a natural toothpaste with NO SLS. Next I always swish hydrogen peroxide around in my mouth before I brush my teeth. I took the following supplements. You can get them at a health food store. L-Lysine- 1000 mg. 2 x a day. Super Quercetin 500 mg 2 x a day. Homeopathic Sulfur 12c as directed on bottle. You must take it regularly for at least 3 weeks. I took it for about 1 month. I have been free of pain and the markings for about 3 weeks. My doctor recommended the supplements.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear that others are going through the same thing! I am 25 year old female and have had this off and on for 3-4 years. I stress out alot! Mainly due to GT.It's a tricky thing. Sometimes it will be gone for weeks then come back and not go away for months. I work as a restaurant manager so I am always self-concious about it. Getting alot of sleep works for me. I guess not eating spicy foods or drinking too much alcohol. It scares me that I might have to live with this for the rest of my life but hey...there could be worse things. I actually just found that others are living with this common condition. I felt so alone and afraid to ask anyone about it because it comes on so fast then instantly goes away,and moves around. Is anyone on a specific diet that helps? And also I remember my little brother having it, but now he doesn't at all! So, I guess there is hope. It's definatly passed down throughout families. I never feel sick or notice any other mouth ailments...just this. It's just nice to know there are others out there :-)

Anonymous said...

I have had gt for about 2 years now, and am now 46. It started immediately following taking some antibiotics. I was sure that it was some sort of yeast thing, but apparently not. Anyhow, it always there, moves around, of course and is embarrassing. I wish there was a cure for it. At least its a benign thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm 29 and have had it since I was a teen. I've learned alot of things that make it worse and pinapple is one of the worse, many acidic fruits and nuts for some reason make it worse. I'm currently pregnant and it has gotten much worse and the doctor says that hormones also play a big role and stress can too - lucky me. Anyhow as I got older I learned most things to avoid but I think its a trial and error thing.

Anonymous said...

It's such a relief to find out that other people actually have this too! I thought something seriously was wrong with me! Im 22 years old and have been really noticing it alot more when I turned 20. I did get it maybe a few times throughout childhood and teenaged years but nothing really bad. Now I get it every few months and it is soo annoying! I get really embarrased by it, I dont want to go out or talk to people at all when I have it, I feel as if they can see it. It last for about 10 days, I know its coming when i get a coating on my tongue and when i eat i feel alittle burning from there it gets patchy, then towards the end it starts to become really red and almost kind of raw after i eat then goes away. I've noticed that it always seems to come on sunday lol...the day after I go out drinking. So now im starting to think it might have something to do with the alcohol, and maybe even ciggerettes i smoke alot when i go out too. So I dunno...If anyone has anything else on this I would be very interested to find out! thanks!

Anonymous said...

Well, I was reading about this and realized that not too many people actually suffer from this. I found out what it was called when I went to a dentist checkup about 6 years ago. I knew it was worse when I ate things that were spicy or acidic. Also I noticed someone commented about it becoming worse when they drank and smoked. I quit smoking about 5 years ago because of it. It used to cause infections on my tongue. I definately don't recommend drinking or smoking if you suffer from this condition. You'd only be asking for problems.

Anonymous said...

I suffer too from geographic tongue and fissured tongue. I'm now 31, but I have had this condition since I was a child. Like many with GT, my mother was told not to worry about it.

At present, I now also deal with burning mouth syndrome (may or may not be related). I know that drinking orange juice caused me to get canker sores. I stopped drinking it because of that. I decided to recently start (again) Vitamin C supplements. Geographic and fissured tongue came back (it had been gone for a long while). So now I am going to test a 2 week no Vitamin C diet. To see if the tongue clears up entirely, and if the burning mouth calms down.

It's worth a shot, but I am telling you folks, Vitamin C definitely has a drastic impact on my mouth.

Kat said...

I have the same problems and have for a while. When I eat pineapple, walnuts, high acid foods like tomato sauce, orange juice, and also when I have beer and sometimes liquor I get patches on my tongue where it looks like I am missing taste buds. I went to the doctor about it, but they found I am not allergic to walnuts, pineapple, or tomato. They just kind of dismissed me and gave me a prescription to numb my tongue when I eat... very frustrating. My mom has burning mouth syndrome, so I guess it runs in the family. Thanks for the info, now I can tell my doctor what I believe I have. Does anyone else have problems with beer?

Anonymous said...

I too have geographic tongue with deep fissures in it...I hate this condition with a passion and I at times want to end my life cause of it! I have gone to the doctor and asked for a tongue transplant...he laughed at me...my tongue always feels bad...it depending on the day and what I eat looks raw...feels raw....feels like its stinging...I hate the way it looks and I want to cut it off...I no longer work because of it and I don't want to talk to anyone cause of it! I have tried things like probiotics, vitamins, changing my toothpaste to BIOTENE, and its funny cause all the foods that people describe here are a lot of what bothers my tongue. If you would like to share your stories with me and maybe together we can find a solution or some relief than please e-mail me @ foofoo1971@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have GT too! I noticed it around the time I turned 13 (I am 20 now). My tongue usually burns a little, especially when I eat spicy or acidic foods. I LOVE spicy food though so I usually just ignore it. I have also noticed that when my tongue is acting up, toothpaste burns a lot. I do not worry about it much. Kids at college get a kick out of it when I show it to them. I think have a GT just keeps me interesting.

Anonymous said...

The first time I noticed my GT was the morning after giving birth to my firstborne at 34 years old. Had no idea what it was, my OB/GYN had no idea what was wrong with my tongue. She thought maybe I had thrush. It went away a few days later. It reappeared after my first period started back and pretty much every period thereafter. I figured out it must be hormonal whatever it was. No one in my family has had it, lucky me-guess I'm the first! It IS UGLY! I hate it! Mine usually disappears as soon as my cycle is over however so I guess I'm lucky in that respect. It is painful and I sometimes sound as if I'm talking with a lispe or something because I have a hard time forming some shapes with my tongue while speaking.

renea said...

My 6 year old son has had this for years. He also has rally bad eczema and I was told that GT and eczma could be a milk allergy. So I took him off milk and with in a few days it was gone. He has never had any pain in his tongue with foods. And his fav food is pineapple.

Candy Yeung said...

I just found out my almost 1 year daughter might have GT. I've been reading online and trying to find out what are those red patches on her tongue are. They come and go and it doesn't seems to bother her.

After reading so many posts and comments here. I will try to give my daughter some vitamin B and see if her condition will improve. Since she is still drinking milk, I cannot take her off to see if that's what's triggering her GT.

Will keep everyone here posted.

Candy Yeung said...

After reading a lot online, posts and comments. I think my almost 1 year old daughter has GT. I've been wondering what are those red patches that comes and goes on her tongue. It doesn't seem to bother her that's why it never alarmed me until yesterday.

My daughter does have eczema, but since non of us in the family has GT, I just don't know where she got it from. I will try to give her some vitamin B and see if her condition will improve. Will keep everyone here posted.

Mike said...

I've had GT for over 5 years now and after going to several doctors, my dentist was very helpful as far as steering me in the right direction. Here's what I do: brush teeth and tongue (and scrape tongue with tongue scraper) twice a day and floss at night. I also use the prescription mouthwash Periogard which has a generic brand as well--this is the hard part because it tastes AWFUL, especially sitting in your mouth at night. My theory, at least in my case, is that my tongue is extra sensitive (allergic, really) to bacteria and over-reacts leading to GT.

I still get occasional flare-ups but only when I don't follow the regimen religiously. Getting back on the regimen gets rid of it quickly. It also has the benefit of impeccable oral hygiene! Anyway, this worked for me.

Anonymous said...

My grandson is 7 and has gt, probably since about 18 months old. He quit eating things he had loved and now really does not like very many foods and is not at all adverturous about tasting new foods. I'd like for him to eat a well balanced diet. His vitamins, the gummy kind, hurt his tongue. I'm not going to be able to get him to use a mouthwash that tastes nasty, but I'm going to try the tongue scraping. I guess the sensitivity is different for everyone.
I hate when people think I am coddling him when foods really hurt his tongue. I don't make him eat foods that hurt.

Anonymous said...

I have had GT for as long as I remember, walnuts pineapple and mango make it flare,other foods too but it is so hard to figure it out. It has not always been pineapple though, there was a time when I could eat it fine. It did get worse while I was pregnant so I will have to try the B12 vitamins, but at least for me it has always been an allergy thing, I know this because I was on a total elimination diet while breast feeding my son and my tongue got better. As a kid some medicine they gave me for my pain from braces made it go away, but I could never get that stuff again once I got rid of the braces.

Anonymous said...

Not diagnosed yet, but from web browsing am sure this is what i have. I hate it. I have found Garlic sausage and alcohol, especially cider to be the worst thing for kicking off an episode. Dous anyone have marks on the sides of their tongue aswell?

Jd said...

I have it and I think I am going to make it my life goal to find a cure for this. It is super embarassing and I stress over it constantly, which from what I read, stress could be a trigger for a flare up.

I have a couple concerns which could ease some of my stress. I was wondering if anyone else feels like geographic tongue makes their tongue feel rougher and their mouth dry (probably due to stress and being nervous). I've never really asked any girls i'ved kissed if my tongue feels rough because I dont want to draw attention to my tongue. I've definatley lost a lot of oppurtunities with girls because of this and i'm sick of it.

My only genetic link to this is my mom who had it when she gave birth to me and hers fully disappeared after a couple months. I noticed mine 3 years ago and I am now 20. This is all still pretty new to me and I've tried pretty much everything on the web; peroxide mouthwash, peroxide toothpastes, no spicy foods, no drinking, salt water, daily vitamins, and nothing has really done the job.

And its hilarious how unconcerned doctors and dentist are about this but it really does have a big effect on my life. If anyone has any real solutions please post!

Anonymous said...

Garlic sausage, strong cheeses and cherry tomatoes really affect my tongue, cider and lagers also play havoc. I am so fed up with the whole thing.

Steven said...

i have both the geographic tongue condition and the so called fissured tongue. my tongue is fricking ugly with cuts and rifts on its side. i'm very embarassed about it and i feel these conditions inhibit me very much when i'm using my tongue in a sexual intercourse. i'm afraid my partner woul notice my disfigured tongue....it also simetimes hurts and burns but i haven't concluded to whivh food this comes about

katie said...

I first relized i had GT when I got really sick when I was 18 now I am 24 and still have it. I react to tomatoes, pineapple, walnuts, Garlic, most citrus/acidic foods. one this I have doing is using hydrogen peroxide once a day and my tough is clear and not painful ( I even had juice with dinner normaly I would pay for that)

Anonymous said...

I've had it for my whole life, 34 years now. It always cracks me up when people say avoid this and avoid that and here is a cure and such. For me, what prompts it is different every time. I could eat spicy foods 30 days in a row and not get it, then at another time have the same meals and it's springing out before the second bite is done. For example, I love pecans and walnuts and have eaten them my whole life with no ill effects. Today, i had a handful of each and instantly got the worst geo I've had in a while (a web search for GT and pecans is what lead me here).

I've tried many "cures" that people say work and none of them have ever worked for me. This leads me to think it's different for everyone. For me it also comes and goes for periods of time. I've got at least 6 months a few times without flare-ups.

Yes, it's not damaging as all the articles say, it's just highly irritating.

Btw, there is significant debate about it being hereditary.

Anonymous said...

I've had this. This is going to sound stupid, but try this: don't create suction in your mouth (don't create suction against the roof of your mouth), and stop touching your teeth with your tongue.

I also find a tongue brush helps a bit (I don't know why).

Jacqueline said...

I have had this condition since I was a baby, I'm 28 years old now. I can not eat anything spicier/more acidic than ketchup. Some people say that you can grow out of this; which is why my some of my family (not my mom, go mom!) tried to feed my foods that would "help" me grow out of this. It was terrible! My tongue can become irritated by strong toothpaste, too much soda, too much salt, and more. The best medicine I've found is to balance the acid/alkaline balance in my foods, ex. pizza with light sauce and extra cheese. Drinking milk also helped to cool my tongue off.
My final warning, I believe (and this is my own opinion based on no medical fact just personal experience) that my tongue acts as a kind of early warning system for foods that disagree with my digestive tract. I have two examples of this. First, my mom reports that as a baby if my tongue was severely broken out I would have a bad diaper rash. Secondly, I was served a soup with red peppers in it by a well meaning host who was trying to accommodate by hard to explain allergies. I didn't want to be rude so I gave it my best shot and no more than 15 minutes later it left my body faster than i think anything has ever moved through a digestive tract in the history of mankind.
If you have a child with this, know that bland is great and cheese is the spice of life for us!

Anonymous said...

Check out the relationships between gluten intolerance and geographic tongue. I have had GT my whole life, I started eating PALEO and it's gone. No kidding. So are my GI problems and my skin irritations. It is amazing and has changed my life.

Anonymous said...

My 19 month old son was diagnosed with GT today. He has been off his food and been super cranky for the past 3 days. He only has one patch at the moment about the size of an m&m. Reading this post and comments has helped me tremendously thank you everyone.

Anonymous said...

Acidophilus daily and brushing your teeth and tongue after each meal especially if the meal contained spicy or acidic foods* will help 100%. As well, B6/B12 supplement daily will help heal it as well as keep it away pending you stay away from the culprits. My condition started when I got a dog... Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

I have had GT for 6 years (since 20) and it has definitely affected my life. Being a woman it is painfully embarrassing to have a tongue with patches on it that could possibiliy look like some std or something. I also have deep fissures on the outside of my tongue. I hate that there are no answers to this condition, and no plan of action to figure out what could be the cause when you see a doctor. They all just shrug their shoulders and say they dont know what causes it. That answer is no longer good enough for me. I have tried everything. I would like to be tested for food allergies (hoping there could be something there). I don't believe you tongue just freaks out for no reason. I think it's realted to your immune system but it is not worth digging into to find out how?? Brushing the tongue a few times a day does help with the appearance of the tongue and sometimes makes it feel better to me. I think it is strange that alcohol is a common culprit for everyone. When I drank in my early twenties I had it all of the time. I also get it when I am sick...and every. single. time. I take a round of antibodics. Like I mentioned this has serioiusly affected my life. No one in my family has it. I just want to be free of it and talk and laugh like a normal person. Its terrible.

Anonymous said...

I've had GT for most of my life. I'm 26 and I noticed around middle school time. After years of modifying the way i spoke to hide the formerly unnamed issue, i realized it was always bad when my allergies were bad. I get horrible post nasal drip, and i noticed early on if I treated the PND, the GT would diminish rather quickly. I've noticed that my daughter has it, and she also seems to have the same allergies as me (pollen, ragweed, dogs and cats etc..). Even on days when she is exceptionally bratty, i've observed all that sobbing eventually translate into a few patches, typically on the same side of her tongue. I know at least for us, allergies and PND seem to be the cause..i very rarely get it as long as i keep some benedryl on deck for the rough days. I also brush my teeth/tongue 2 to 3 times daily and NEVER go to bed without doing so lol. I'm sure it's different for everyone, but i sure hope some doctors get their act together and connect some dots. Best of luck all

jodie owen said...

thank u for this information!.. i knew there was something different about my sons tongue about 6 months ago, but as i can be a tad paranoid at timme, every1 told me it was just milk or saliva and not to worry. but today i pressed the local health nurse as to what it could be as it was still there and i knew it wasnt normal. she mentioned about GT, i googled and found this blog. i definately no this is what he has for sure. he doesnt have any allergies or problems, but i dont know what runs in the family. does any one know if there is any sort of test that can be done to find out allergies? thank again, your information is the answers i was looking for.

Anonymous said...

I first found his GT when he was 10 months old, my son is now 3. We have tried A LOT of different things at home to get rid of it. I have noticed that he is a little more texture sanative them most. He is also sanative to hot food and spicy food is a big NO. For the most part his is not in pain. He's never goes away, we have great days maybe a week. We have gone on a chemical free eating at home. Which means organic as much as possible, but mostly no food dies or preservatives. If we are eating at home all week his tongue is almost normal all the time. If we eat out or he has a party its bad again, which is the main reason he’s never goes away. Since, he has no pain (as of yet) I’m not strict about it when we are out and about.
Thought I would share in hopes it helps anyone.

Anonymous said...

I use Listerine whitening prerinse and this has essentially eradicated my geographic tongue I have not had it for a long long time. If i do have a little I simply rinse with the Listerine whitening with peroxide and it goes away. I also take a good vitamin with lots of B and that helps as well. Hope this helps anyone with this condition. It is irritating but it can be controlled. Peroxide I think is the trick and I have read this other places as well.

Anonymous said...

I've had this for about 6 years. I have allergies to most airborne things, take Xanax, have a little bit of fissured tongue only when my GT gets bad, and have acid reflux. I have tried diluted hydrogen peroxide rinses, biotene toothpaste and mouthwash, baking soda rinses, baking soda+salt rinses, tricloro rinses, 'magic mouthwash' (not so magic), diflucan, clotrimazole troches, GMP multivitamins, B-12 sublingual, chelated zinc lozenges, changing diet to only vegetarian + chicken, drinking 3L water a day, tongue scrapper, brushing 3x-4x a day, probiotics(both on the tongue and ingested)...long list, too much money, little lasting results (though some work better than others and I have great oral hygiene). I've seen ENTs, GPs, dentists, oral surgeons, and scheduled an appointment to see an oral pathologist soon. 3 family members have fissured tongue but not GT, so I am different in that regard. Also, 2 family members have allergies and asthma, 2 have eczema, and 1 overlaps, yet no geographic tongue. Does anyone else here experience dry mouth often? I do, and it seems to be worse when I have major flare ups (not sure if the GT causes dry mouth or the dry mouth causes GT). Coffee and tea (does not matter what type) seem to have a direct negative impact to my tongue status. I think GT is a symptom of some complex chain of events (obviously partially involving genetics to be susceptible to the particular GT symptom) that involves excess acid (either in mouth, stomach, or both), allergy, vitamin deficiency, and dry mouth. The trouble is: what is the initiator and how does the chain of events take place to lead to the GT symptom?
If you are interested in helping out truly to find the culprits, I have put together a spreadsheet of what I believe may be triggers based on my research (about 40 items including diet), and how to score them on the spreadsheet. I am a trained scientist that has become so curious and annoyed with the condition that I have set out to attempt to find an answer. I am not concerned with starting a support group, and not concerned with talking about feelings about GT...I am concerned with establishing causation of the symptom. I'd like to embark on an 'adventure' per se to figure this out, and I have an idea on getting closer. If anyone would like to help out, I'd guess it would take 3 months of consistent tracking of the items in the spreadsheet (this is the tough part!) and I will run all the analyses on the data. Ideally, there would be over 20 people to give variation and good statistical power. I don't care what your name is, where you live, or anything about you personally aside from what is on the spreadsheet. Make up a fake email address and use that if you want to conceal your identity, I really don't care, mainly because I know there is only strength in the number of individuals involved and the accuracy of your tracking. If you want to try to help figure this out, I think we can make more strides than most doctors are willing put in the time for with this "benign glossitis that has no cure". I think the answer doctors provide about geographic tongue is a ridicule to the power of the human mind and our collective effort. After the analysis, I will provide you with the results, in which I will use a predicative model to understand risk factors to the symptom. I cannot say whether or not the results will help any of us, though there is not a study that I can find on Google Scholar that demonstrates the power of the study I am proposing (because GT doesn't kill you or others, no one wants to fund a decent study). Email me if you are interested, but only email me if you are as interested as me about this undertaking and if you have had experience trying a number of different 'methods' to try to figure out the issue. I'm only interested in people who have had consistent issues lasting over a year, and if you are an adult as it may manifest itself differently with those born with it. mark.sampson123@gmail.com

Bruce E said...

Hi, My father has had geographic tongue for a few years but has worked out a protocol to control it. This is what he writes:
My Symptoms. White areas on tongue surface which slough off slowly, exposing new pink areas. This was on going and constant, my tongue was sore and sometimes bled slightly.
My doctor advised rinsing with Peroxide solution twice daily with no effect. Then two anti fungal treatments with repeats with no success. I tried other “remedies” from the internet with no effect.
However I had a supply of Alum crystals I used to put on mouth ulcers to aid healing. This was an old remedy from my mother, who had Alum crystals.
My Method. Clean teeth and brush tongue with toothbrush then dip end of wet tooth brush in Alum and gently brush into tongue, hold in mouth for 2 or 3 minutes, spit out.
The white surface, now “gunk”, comes off easily with tooth brush (a bit disgusting). The Alum not only removes the white “gunk”, but aids healing of any raw areas.
Repeat for 2-3 days initially.
Maintenance of tongue. Brush with tooth brush twice daily and then clean tongue with
towelling rubbing up and down until dry. You will be surprised what comes off on the towel.
Results for me. With maintenance, periods of clean pink healthy tongue for weeks at a time. I check tongue daily and at the first sign of Geographic Tongue I apply a small amount of Alum to the spot or spots or white area.
Alum is available from chemist on request.
Label reads. Alum BP Pharmaceutical Raw Material
Looks like sugar, taste awful, dry astringent effect in mouth.

He hopes this information might be helpful to others suffering from the same condition.