What Is the Treatment for a Fissured Tongue?


Quick Answer

The only treatment often required for a fissured tongue is tongue brushing to remove any debris in the fissures and prevent irritation, according to WebMD. A fissured tongue can increase sensitivity to spicy foods in the case of geographic tongue, so people with this condition may want to avoid them.

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Full Answer

A fissured tongue has clefts, cracks or grooves along its top and sides, explains WebMD. Such fissures only affect the tongue and can vary in depth. These fissures usually appear during childhood but increase in depth as a person ages. The fissures may separate the tongue into regions when the fissures intersect with one another. Most cases of fissured tongue are found during the course of routine dental work.

Between 3 and 5 percent of the population has a fissured tongue, and in many cases, the cause is unknown. The prevalence is much greater in people with Down syndrome, and it occurs in as many as 80 percent of them. Generally, a fissured tongue is not a problem, but it can be a symptom of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, which also causes paralysis of the face and swelling in the face or lips. Treatment for this condition may require the help of a medical specialist.

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