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Mouth Diseases

Lines on Tongue

05/12/2010

Question:

I have noticed lines on my tongue the last couple of days and this evening I noticed that the lines are red. Like some sort of crack. A little uncomfortable but not terribly bad. Any ideas? Thanks.

Answer:

It would be difficult to say without examining your tongue.

Fissured tongue is a common variation of normal anatomy that is seen in about 20% of people. What appear to be cracks (they are really shallow grooves) develop on the top of the tongue sometime after the teenage years usually. Sometimes a condition called "geographic tongue" will occur in people who have fissured tongue. This is also harmless, but it can be a little annoying. More information about geographic tongue can be found at the link below the answer.

If you want a definite answer, you should make an appointment to see an oral pathologist for evaluation.

Related Resources:

American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

For more information:

Go to the Mouth Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University