Geographic Tongue

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Geographic Tongue is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Geographic tongue is a benign condition characterized by inflammation of the tongue (glossitis) that appears in a map-like (geographic) pattern. The normal tongue is covered by a layer of small bumps known as papillae. In affected individuals, certain areas of the tongue are missing these bumps. These affected areas usually appear as smooth, red or pink colored, degenerated (atrophic) patches. Geographic tongue tends to come and go it usually heals without treatment, but will recur again usually affecting a different area of the tongue. Most cases are not associated with any symptoms (asymptomatic) and the condition usually goes away without treatment. Geographic tongue is not associated with any long-term health complications in healthy individuals. The exact cause of geographic tongue is unknown.

Supporting Organizations

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Building 31, Room 2C39
31 Center Drive, MSC 2290
Bethesda, MD 20892
USA
Tel: (301)496-4261
Fax: (301)480-4098
Tel: (866)232-4528
Email: nidcrinfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/

Smell and Taste Center

Smell and Taste Center
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215-662-2797
Fax: (215)349-5266
Email: Geraldine.Fischer@uphs.upenn.edu
Website: http://www.med.upenn.edu/stc/index.html

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  1/17/2012
Copyright  2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.