Do you have what look like lines or little cracks running through your tongue? If you do, you may have assumed that's what all tongues really look like up close.
Most people have smooth tongues, though. Those lines in your tongue are a sign of a condition called fissured tongue or plicated tongue.
There's nothing to worry about—the lines are harmless in most cases, although it's possible to experience some pain from fissured tongue. Most people never have any issues unless something manages to get stuck within one of the fissures. Since they're generally very shallow, that's rarely a problem.
Signs of Fissured Tongue
Fissured tongue only affects the tongue. You'll see little grooves or cracks running across the top and the sides of your tongue. Some are very shallow, while others can be a little deeper.
Sometimes, these lines connect, making your tongue look like a map. Fissured tongue can occur at any time in your life, and the cracks can become deeper or more pronounced the older you get.
What Causes It? There's no real cause of fissured tongue. It has been known to occur in families, so it's likely linked to one particular gene and passed from parents to children. It affects at most about five percent of people in the U.S., and it seems that men are slightly more likely to have a fissured tongue than women.
Sometimes fissured tongue appears along with other conditions. Those who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome are much more likely to develop a fissured tongue as children. Another condition connected to fissured tongue is Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, although it is fairly rare.
Geographic tongue is another condition many with fissured tongue also have. It's also harmless and causes your tongue to have different colored spots on it. These spots can actually move around the tongue!
Do you have a fissured tongue? If so and if you believe it's causing you pain, call us today to book an appointment so we can examine it.