U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A member asked:

If you have geographic tongue, is it usually always there for the rest of your life?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alex Shvartsman
Cosmetic Dentistry 26 years experience
Yes: No cure, but also not harmful. Just looks bad sometimes.
Dr. Lynnette Mesina
undefined 27 years experience
yes. The red patches move around to varying degrees. Symptoms range from no symptoms at all to a burning sensation.
Jan 17, 2013
Dr. Robert Ryan
Dentistry 51 years experience
Usually: Geographic tongue (glossitis migrans) is a peculiar, but benign, condition of the tongue involving 'migrating' areas of denuded tissue that covers the tongue. These denuded patches are reddish and have white borders and move from area to area on the tongue.
Dr. Duane Keller
46 years experience
Usually: Benign migratory glossitis (geographic tongue) is a benign disorder of unknown origin. The tongue "sheds" it's surface and this may be sensitive to spicy (or other) foods at times. It sometimes seems to occur with increased stress, but no real proof.

Similar questions

A 27-year-old female asked:

If you have geographic tongue is it usually permanent or always there for life?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tal Dagan
Facial Plastic Surgery 25 years experience
geographic tongue: Although normally symptomatic, sometimes accompanied by burning, geographic tongue is a common condition believed to be inflammatory without a clear cause. It can disappear over time but it is impossible to predict when that will happen. It is not a precursor to cancer and is not dangerous.
Canada
A 27-year-old female asked:

If you develop geographic tongue is it permanent/always present persisting for the rest of your life?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Gastroenterology 40 years experience
Come and go, but...: Tongue is known to have many variations with pigmenting, size, appearance, ; not always due to disease.Other causes of tongue that looks patchy include: lichen planus (responds to steroids), white sponge nevus (familial, benign, permanent), smoker's leukoplakia (2% risk of cancer, needs biopsy), hairy leukoplakia (due to epsteinbarr virus), warts (due to papillomavirus), "thrush" (rx antifungals).
Canada
A 27-year-old female asked:

Typically is geographic tongue constant for the rest of your life?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Antoanella Calame
Pathology 20 years experience
Geographic Tongue: Your doctor may recommend medications to manage discomfort or sensitivity: over-the-counter pain relievers, mouth rinses with an anesthetic, antihistamine mouth rinses, corticosteroid ointments or rinses. Since the condition typically resolves on its own and has an unpredictable course, you may not be able to tell if the symptomatic treatments are actually working.
Dr. Antoanella Calame
Pathology 20 years experience
Provided original answer
The condition typically resolves on its own and has an unpredictable course
Oct 29, 2013
Canada
A 27-year-old female asked:

Does geographic tongue last for life?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Denny Cho
A Verified Doctoranswered
Dentistry 19 years experience
RIght now...: Yes, it is thought to be a condition that you will have to deal with the rest of your life. Science is always making advancements, so there may be a solution in the pipe.
Last updated Oct 4, 2016
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.