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Mouth Diseases

Red Circles On My Tongue

09/13/2011

Question:

Occasionally I get about 3 red circles on my tongue. Sometimes they feel sore. But there is no pain and it is not like I need medication for it. I’d like to know what that is...and if it may be a reaction from gastritis or what? By the way I am sixteen years old. Thanks.

Answer:

If the red circles come and go, and sometimes have a slightly raised white line around them, then you probably have a common, yet harmless, condition called "geographic tongue".

The medical term for this is "benign migratory glossitis". You can find a description of it on the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology web site ( http://AA ). Under the tab for "Public" there will be another tab for "Information on Oral Diseases", and a pamphlet with color pictures of geographic tongue will be available for viewing or printing.

If the description of geographic tongue does not seem to apply to your problem, then you should have your parents make an appointment to see an oral pathologist for evaluation.

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