Geographic tongue is a disease that affects the mucous membrane of a tongue. In medical practice, the disease has a different name – desquamative glossitis. It has an inflammatory and a degenerative nature.
Glossitis is an inflammation, and the adjective “desquamative”, derived from the word “desquamation”, which means peeling, flaking. That is an inflammation with areas of loose tissues.
This is a fairly common disease, it is most common for children, although adults are also prone to it. Its appearance does not depend on a gender.
A more common name of desquamative glossitis – “geographic tongue” – has appeared and come into use because of its most characteristic manifestations – it is the emergence of foci of inflammation on the tongue that are bordered white peelable epithelium.
Because of this, a tongue begins to resemble a volume map volume by its appearance. Areas of exfoliation and inflammation can occur in a totally random order, on the back of the tongue, as well as at its lateral surfaces.
The process of shedding epithelium (it is a top layer of an epithelium of body surfaces as well as mucosal and organs) can last different periods of time – from a few days up to several months. Sometimes even longer.
Usually, a little patient does not feel strong discomfort. However, those areas that are not substantially protected because of the fact that the upper layer is exfoliated are heavily exposed to all kinds of infections. If an infection occurs, the baby’s tongue may be coated with cracks, which leads to rather painful sensations.
Most often, neither children nor parents notice neither beginning of the disease or its course until a certain time. Identification occurs in most cases, quite by accident – when visiting a dentist or during an oral examination by the doctor-therapist.
Sometimes children of an older age category may notice the problem themselves, for example, during the daily procedures of oral hygiene or a careful examination of the tongue in the mirror.
In those areas where the desquamation takes place, there are very visible mushroom like papillae. They appear as bright red spots. Pretty rare desquamation areas appear in a single form. Most often it is the many sources in different parts of the tongue.
Children often have a strong concern about the appearance of a tongue. This leads to stress, and stress can lead to a significant worsening of the disease. If there is a process of worsening, the desquamation power and speed also increase.
Almost in half of the cases, this leads to the fact that there appears such a manifestation as fissured tongue – the overall shape changes, there are wrinkles on the surface due to multiple foci of desquamation.
The list of causes and factors that lead to this disease is still not fully known. Many experts say that a geographic tongue in a child is most often associated with certain groups of common diseases of the body.
The serious failures in the nutrition of cellular tissue are the basis for the emergence of desquamative glossitis, that is a violation of the trophic (i.e. nutritious) mucosal function.
Exudative diathesis. Some children have a tendency to various inflammatory diseases that affect the skin and mucous membranes. This is the most common and probable cause of the disease in children.
Diseases that are caused by a lack or disorder of metabolic processes of vitamins of group B:
Diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract:
Diseases affecting the pancreas:
Some diseases that are associated with the endocrine system of the body and its organs – the thyroid, pancreas, and adrenal glands.
Autoimmune disease (the immune system is too strong so that it works against its own body:
Complex forms of various viral infections:
Some diseases of the oral cavity, for example, congenital scrotal tongue.
In addition to the general disease, there are some factors that can also cause the appearance of desquamative glossitis.
It is impossible to describe one treatment option, as the treatment measures in this or that case, are individual. This is due to the huge number of possible causes.
If the disease was caused by a common disease, then, first of all, this disease should be dealt with. Because without removing the cause, the treatment of geographic tongue is useless.
However, there is a number of remedial measures to be carried out in any case, no matter what was the cause of desquamative glossitis.
Do not neglect the visit to the doctor and treatment of geographic tongue, even if the disease does not have any other manifestations except external visible symptoms.
Examination conducted by an expert is extremely important because the disease can be an indicator of other, more serious, and dangerous diseases, which require the compulsory medical examination and treatment.
Traditional medicine also has some methods and recipes which can be used in desquamative glossitis. Almost all of them are aimed at alleviating the discomfort and getting rid of the external symptoms.
Sterilized in a water bath (the length should be at least half an hour) pure vegetable oil after cooling can also be used for rinsing. The duration of this procedure should be less than 2 minutes. Rinsing with decoctions of herbs that have an antiseptic effect – chamomile, St. John’s worth, sage and others.