Geographic tongue

What causes geographic tongue? Is it genetic?

The exact cause of geographic tongue has not been identified. However, because the condition may be present in several members of the same family, genetics may increase a person's chances of developing the condition. A study by Guimarães (2007) showed that a specific variant of a gene called IL-1B ( interleukin-1 beta ) is associated with an increased risk of developing geographic tongue and suggests a genetic basis for the development of the disease. Further research may result in a better understanding of the genetic influences involved in the development of geographic tongue.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What treatment is available for geographic tongue?

Because geographic tongue is a benign (harmless) condition and does not typically cause symptoms, treatment is usually unnecessary. Even those patients who experience sensitivity to hot or spicy foods, generally do not require treatment. With severe symptoms, topical corticosteroids, zinc supplements, and topical anesthetic rinses seem to reduce the discomfort in some patients.

Last updated on 05-01-20

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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