If you have noticed strange patches on your tongue, you may be alarmed. However, you may also be relieved to hear that patches on the tongue are often benign and resolve themselves without medical intervention or treatment. There are numerous different types of patches that can occur on the tongue. Two of the most common of these are called geographic tongue and oral thrush.
Benign migratory glossitis, or geographic tongue, is a condition that causes patches of inflammation resembling map-like figures on your tongue, possibly with raised or uneven white edges. These lesions often move or 'migrate' over the course of days and weeks. These patches occur due to the loss of the small bumps on your tongue called papillae, and can cause some mild sensitivity to spicy foods and mouthwash. Doctors aren't quite sure why the condition occurs. But the good news is that geographic tongue is benign and resolves itself, usually up to a year in time. The condition often runs in families, but is not contagious and is typically no cause for alarm.
Oral thrush is caused by a yeast infection in your mouth and presents as patches of yellow or white bumps on your tongue and cheeks. It can also cause a cotton-like feeling in your mouth and cracked skin around the edges of your mouth. Oral thrush is most commonly seen in infants and toddlers, is usually not serious, is contagious, and can be passed from person to person. Despite usually being benign, other complications can occur which can result in the thrush spreading to other parts of the body.
While strange patches on your tongue may be no cause for concern, you should come in and see us for a diagnosis. Call us today to set up an appointment.
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