Geographic Tongue

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Geographic tongue in 10 month old

Dec 2008

Our 10 month old boy apparently has geographic tongue. It comes and goes but when it is 'bad' it looks like he has canker sores all over his tongue. It doesn't seem to bother him too much, but it's sometimes hard to tell. Does anyone else have experience with this? As a kid or adult? Does it hurt? T

My 41 year old husband has had geographic tongue his entire life. His experience at this point in life is he has ''flare- ups'' every now and again - once a month or more. These are triggered by different foods which are not always predictable. One food that we run into a lot is goat cheese, for example. His flare ups are not so bad that he can't touch the stuff. His tongue gets the type of rash you describe and hurts a fair amount, but definately tolerable. He has been told there is nothing that can be done, so he has just lived with it. I think he got diagnosed when he was around 10. J.

I have a geographic tongue, which of course means I've had one all my life. Relax, its nothing to worry about (at least not in my experience). Even when it looks terrible, it is almost never painful or even uncomfortable. Occasionally, I've had some discomfort/soreness from eating certain foods -- walnuts particularly, and sometimes acidic fruits -- but for all I know that is unrelated (i.e., it would happen even if my tongue was not geographic).

probably the worst part is when -- very infrequently -- someone takes a close look at my tongue and says ''eeewwww -- what's wrong with your tongue?''. (that only happened a couple of times in my entire childhood). if the kid is prepared for that -- that is, if he knows that his tongue is a little different from other people's, but not unnatural or weird -- he should be able to explain as much and shrug it off.

it would be great if this were the worst problem your son has to face. mr. atlas

Both of my kids (2 and 5 years old) have geographic tongue and have had it since an early age. It does not seem painful to either one of them but neither one can tolerate anything that is even remotely spicey or acidic. They will both cry out in pain if any black pepper at all gets in their mouths, even an amount that I would never even be able to taste. So they both tend to eat very bland food. Other than that, and the fact that it looks rather scary, it has not been a problem. -mom

My dentist said I have geographic tongue

Jan 2005

My dentist just told me I have geographic tongue. According to the research I’ve done, there is no cure. While my case is mild, it can be annoying, especially when it prevents me from eating foods I love. Since it developed sometime during my pregnancy, I can’t believe I am going to have this for the rest of my life, when I didn’t have it for the first 35 years. Has anyone had any successful alternative treatments for this condition? anon

I also have a geographic tongue, but for me there is no pain or discomfort. So I don't worry about it. - oblivious

I too have a geographic toung, but the only thing I'm ''alergic'' to is walnuts. They cause an _immediate_ flare-up of my tongue, but no classic alergic reactions (thank goodness). It's something I've learned to live with. Please forward any treatments that you uncover, as I also have lived with this for decades. Good luck, --Bob