How can I prevent geographic tongue?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
It can't be prevented, but avoiding aggravating substances can help.

Geographic tongue is a harmless condition known as benign migratory glossitis, in which smooth red patches which can have a slightly raised border give the tongue a geographic or map-like appearance. It is common for these patches to heal in one place and move or migrate to another. Sometimes the condition can cause discomfort and increased sensitivity of the tongue.

While geographic tongue can't be prevented, discomfort may be lessened by avoiding or reducing exposure to substances that commonly irritate the mouth, including hot, acidic, spicy, and salty foods, alcohol, tobacco, and some toothpastes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.