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

Can be. Geographic tongue can come. And go for the rest of your life. This is a harmless condition so do not worry about it.
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.