Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • grooves and fissures on the dorsal tongue (fissured tongue)
  • hairy projections on the dorsal midline tongue (hairy tongue)
  • well-demarcated areas of erythema on the dorsal tongue (geographic tongue)
  • atrophic red central zone within patches (geographic tongue)
  • lesions that seem to migrate (geographic tongue)

Other diagnostic factors

  • halitosis (hairy tongue and fissured tongue)
  • bad taste in mouth (hairy tongue)
  • discolouration (hairy tongue and fissured tongue)
  • burning sensation (geographic tongue)
  • oral mucosal pain (hairy tongue)

Risk factors

  • tobacco use (hairy tongue)
  • coffee/tea consumption (hairy tongue)
  • Melkersson-Rosenthal's syndrome (fissured tongue)
  • Down's syndrome (fissured tongue)
  • poor oral hygiene (hairy tongue)
  • oxidising mouthwash use (hairy tongue)
  • increasing age (fissured tongue)
  • increasing age (hairy tongue)
  • hyposalivation (hairy tongue)

Diagnostic investigations

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Consultant Senior Lecturer in Oral Medicine

School of Oral and Dental Science

University of Bristol

Bristol

UK

Disclosures

KSS declares that he has no competing interests.

Dr Konrad S. Staines would like to gratefully acknowledge Professor Aisha Sethi, the previous contributor to this monograph. AS declares that she has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Consultant Dermatologist

St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

London

UK

Disclosures

NOD declares that she has no competing interests.

Professor of Oral Pathology

Head of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Pathology

VU University Medical Centre and Academic Centre for Dentistry

Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Disclosures

IVDW declares that he has no competing interests.

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