Content edited by and most written by
Geographic tongue picture
Geographic tongue describes a map-like appearance of your
tongue. This results from irregular, denuded patches on its surface. The pattern on
the surface of your tongue may change very rapidly. The pattern results from the loss of
papillae (tiny finger-like projections on the surface of the tongue). This gives areas of
the tongue flat spots, and thus a geographic appearance. These areas of papillae loss are
said to be "denuded." Denuded areas may persist for more than a month.
Often there are no symptoms but burning or irritation of the tongue is
common, particularly with hot or spicy foods. The discomfort may come and go
over time and may worsen at certain times of a women's menstrual cycle or during
pregnancy. Lesions are usually confined to the tongue but they sometimes arise
elsewhere in the mouth or on the lips.