Geographic Tongue (1)

nnnBenign migratory glossitis of the ventral tongue and floor of mouth. As this region of the tongue does not normally contain papillae, only the white rimmed borders are noted.

Extensive benign migratory glossitis affecting the
entire tongue dorsum with prominent areas of depapillation
surrounded by white rimmed borders.

These features can give the tongue a map-like appearance, thus the descriptive term “geographic.” In an affected individual, the presentation can change on a daily basis and therefore appear “migratory.”

Other Mimicking Conditions:
Although the clinical presentation can be striking, there are few if any other conditions that mimic geographic tongue (these include oral lichen planus, erythematous candidiasis, and leukoplakia), and with a good history and examination lesions rarely warrant biopsy.

Diagnostic tests: None; diagnosis is based on clinical appearance.
Biopsy: No, except very atypical presentations.
Treatment: None in most cases. When symptomatic, rinses containing topical dexamethasone or diphenhydramine may be effective in reducing symptoms. Be sure to consider other causes of tongue discomfort, such as burning mouth syndrome
Follow-up: None.