Geographic Tongue Remedy

by Sam Malone

Geographic tongue, also termed migratory glossitis, is a benign medical condition that concerns the surface of the tongue. The condition is called so because of the formation of map-like patches on the tongue. The patches or lesions after healing often show up on the other parts of the tongue. Geographic tongue is not a serious health concern, although the condition may cause sensitivity and distress.


The symptoms of geographic tongue include:

  • Irregular, red, map-like lesions (patches) on the surface of the tongue
  • Frequent movement of patches (size, shape, location)
  • Pain, distress, burning, or soreness (after spicy, salty, or acidic meals)


Geographic tongue can be a persistent condition, and it may take months for the condition to heal. The precise cause of geographic tongue is not known. However, some causes that may result in the condition include:

  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Inflammation caused by spicy, acidic or hot foods
  • Irritation to alcohol
  • Family history (some cases)

Some other conditions that may increase the risk of the condition include:

  • Diabetes
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Immune system sensitivity
  • Allergies
  • Skin ailments (psoriasis, eczema)
  • Tongue fissures

Geographic Tongue and Celiac Disease

It is believed that celiac disease or gluten intolerance may be the underlying cause of a geographic tongue. Although there is no concrete medical evidence to back that claim, there have been cases reported where gluten-free diet has curbed geographic tongue condition.

Sore Throat, Bronchitis and Geographic Tongue

The lack of conclusive research prevents the absolute establishment of the link between sore throat, bronchitis, and geographic tongue. However, inflammatory conditions such allergies and asthma could be a cause of geographic tongue.


Geographic tongue does not need any specific treatment as the condition heals on its own. However, the doctor or a dentist may suggest following medications for discomfort:

  • Pain relievers (OTC)
  • Antihistamine rinses or gels
  • Corticosteroid rinses or ointments

Home Remedies

Some home remedies that may reduce the irritation and sensitivity in geographic tongue condition are as follows:

  • Avoid spicy, oily and hot foods
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco
  • Avoid heavily flavored, tartar-control and whitening toothpastes
  • Avoid acidic fruits and vegetables
  • Clean the mouth and the tongue regularly
  • Prepare a mouth rinse with one tablespoon of salt mixed into four ounces of warm water. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with this mix three to five times a day.
  • Mix baking soda and water and clean the mouth and tongue with the paste regularly, until the condition clears up.
  • Apply peroxide directly to the tongue for 1 to 2 minutes. The peroxide may reduce the lesions in some sufferers. Rinse the mouth thoroughly afterwards.
  • If the cause of the geographic tongue is the deficiency of vitamin B, take supplements in dosages recommended by the medical specialist.
  • Some people may find relief by increasing zinc intake. Zinc fortifies the immune system and may help in some cases of geographic tongue.
  • Consume refrigerated mint and fennel tea for pain relief.
  • Rub an ice-cube on the affected area for temporary relief.
  • Drinking aloe vera juice or applying the aloe paste directly on the tongue may help reduce the inflammation.
  • Hydrate the body. Consume water often and reduce the intake of hot beverages such as tea and coffee.
  • Practice meditation and other stress reduction techniques. Relaxation techniques strengthen the immune system and may be beneficial in some cases of geographic tongue.

Geographic tongue is a harmless ailment. Home remedies and methods are helpful and may aid in the healing of the wound. However, if the symptoms persist, it is important to consult a physician or dentist .The persistent symptoms may be a sign of an underlying disease.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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