Geographic tongue in children: what does it mean?

Between disorders that may affect the oral cavity of children there is also the so-called geographical languageone benign conditionharmless and non-contagious that it is good to know to manage it properly, avoid easy alarmism.

In fact, we are talking about a reality for which spots and other characteristic signs appear on the tongue, which can cause discomfort, but are not associated with infections or other serious pathologies. It is also called wandering glossitis benign and is a common phenomenon in adults (about 3% of the population) with a prevalence in the pediatric age, so thatincidence varies from 0.37% to 14.3%.

Geographic tongue: how is it expressed?

There geographic tongue in children it is a mostly asymptomatic inflammatory disease that presents with the appearance of smooth and reddish patches with slightly raised edges. In some cases beyond language palatethat cheeksthat gums and the lower part of the tongue.

In these places the filiform papillae of the epithelium are absent (some of which contain taste buds) which are normally present on the surface of the tongue. The presence of these lesions on the tongue they give it a map-like appearance, which is why it is known by this strange name.

The typical spots on the geographical tongue item for a variable period (even up to a year) and can change in appearance over time. When it disappears, it tends to reappear somewhere else with one different blob pattern.

In addition to the presence of red spots and the absence of papillae, the geographic tongue in children can manifest itself (in 10% of cases) with a burning sensation It is a greater sensitivity to taste sour, sweet, with salt and spices.

The causes of geographic tongue in children

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L’etiology of the geographic tongue in children it is not known and there are several theories that try to explain its origin. There is a likelihood that it is a condition influenced by family and hereditary factors; it was also found that there is a ‘connection with other systemic diseases.

The geographical language actually often manifests itself together with allergies, anemia, psoriasis, atopy, gastrointestinal disorders And hormonal changes. It is often associated with Down syndrome, Reiter syndrome, Robinow syndrome or Aarskog syndrome, but in none of these cases has a cause-effect relationship been identified.

Psychosomatic factors should not be underestimated, as there are several studies that show a higher incidence of this condition in patients with mental disorders.

The risk factors are also included lack of vitamin B6, B12, iron, zinc and folic acid, as well as the presence of type 1 diabetesemotional stress, tobacco smoke and a fissured tongue (tongue characterized by cracks, cuts and grooves).

Geographic Tongue in Children: Remedies and Treatments

Attention to the geographical language of children is above all directed towards rule out other more serious conditions. Even considering that it is a benign phenomenon, not contagious, and for which no complications or side effects are known, there is no cure, nor is it necessary. The treatment is actually intended exclusively for reduce pain or discomfort of any symptoms and consists in the use of topical analgesics to be applied directly to the tongue, antihistamine mouthwash and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Diagnosis is made by control of the oral cavity with palpation of the tongue to check for unusual changes in its texture. In addition, checks are made to check for an enlarged lymph node in the neck or a signs of infection.

The treatment of the geographic tongue depends a lotthe child’s age and the type of clinical manifestation with which this condition manifests. The most critical aspect to deal with is the psychological and social, especially in the little ones. Dover live with a geographical language and with its great variety of manifestations it can be complicated for children, especially in the most visible forms. In these cases it is essential reassure the child and his family of an absolutely benign condition with the aim of reducing the anxiety and worry that may inevitably arise.

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