dorsum of the tongue

  • Fissured tongue (also known as "scrotal tongue," "lingua plicata," "Plicated tongue," and "furrowed tongue") is a benign condition characterized by deep grooves (fissures) in the dorsum of the tongue. (
  • hairy tongue a benign condition of the tongue characterized by hypertrophy of the filiform papillae that gives the dorsum of the tongue a furry appearance. (
  • a common benign condition of the tongue seen in 1%-3% of the population, more frequently seen in females, in which the dorsum of the tongue possesses multiple zones of erythema surrounded by slightly elevated yellow-white borders. (
  • Where it is associated with inhalation steroids (often used for treatment of asthma), erythematous candidiasis commonly appears on the palate or the dorsum of the tongue. (
  • Acute erythematous candidiasis usually occurs on the dorsum of the tongue in persons taking long term corticosteroids or antibiotics, but occasionally it can occur after only a few days of using a topical antibiotic. (
  • Hamartomata - for example Leiomyomatous hamartoma Glossoptosis Choristomata - For example, osseous choristoma of the tongue, a very rare condition characterized by a nodule on the dorsum of the tongue containing mature lamellar bone without osteoblastic or osteoclastic activity. (


  • fissured tongue ( furrowed tongue ) a tongue with numerous furrows or grooves on the dorsal surface, often radiating from a groove on the midline. (
  • Fissures are so-called furrows on the surface of the tongue. (
  • Fissured tongue has prominent furrows on its surface. (
  • Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome (also termed "Miescher-Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome"), is a rare neurological disorder characterized by recurring facial paralysis, swelling of the face and lips (usually the upper lip - cheilitis granulomatosis) and the development of folds and furrows in the tongue (fissured tongue). (

migratory glossitis

  • Geographic tongue (benign migratory glossitis) - a common disorder which occasionally causes a burning sensation but is usually painless. (


  • The enlargement can cause midline fissuring of the lip ("median cheilitis") or angular cheilitis (sores at the corner of the mouth). (
  • More common is an incompletely cleft tongue, appearing as midline fissure. (

scrotal tongue


  • B. The cavity lying at the upper end of the alimentary canal, bounded on the outside by the lips and inside by the oropharynx and containing in higher vertebrates the tongue, gums, and teeth. (
  • Geographic tongue is quite common benign condition that primarily affects tongue and rarely other oral mucous membranes (lips, cheeks, palate, gums). (
  • Sjogren syndrome Angioedema Oral cancer may occur on the lips, tongue, gums, floor of the mouth or inside the cheeks. (
  • To assess the gums, a tongue depressor gently retracts the cheek to allow inspection of the upper and lower gums. (


  • It is also seen in most patients with Down syndrome, in association with geographic tongue, in patients with oral manifestations of psoriasis, and in healthy individuals. (
  • geographic tongue a tongue with denuded patches, surrounded by thickened epithelium. (
  • What is geographic tongue? (
  • Together with geographic lesion there can also be fissures (fissured tongue). (
  • Geographic tongue gets its name from the map-like appearance on the surface or the tongue. (
  • The specific cause of geographic tongue is unknown, although it may occur due to irritation from hot or spicy foods, alcohol, or tobacco, or from allergies. (
  • This gives areas of the tongue flat spots, and thus a geographic appearance. (


  • Commonly seen in the elderly, it appears as white patches on the surface of the tongue or mucosa of the mouth or lips. (
  • The tongue may stick to the palate, causing a clicking noise during speech, or the lips may stick together. (
  • Chapped lips (also cheilitis simplex or common cheilitis) are characterized by cracking, fissuring, and peeling of the skin of the lips, and are one of the most common types of cheilitis. (
  • This often results in a depapilled, atrophic glossitis, giving the tongue a bald and shiny appearance, along with pallor (paleness) of the lips and other mucous membranes a tendency towards recurrent oral ulceration, and cheilosis (swelling of the lips). (


  • Hairy tongue is a benign change of the top surface of the tongue that is characterized by elongation of the many small nodules called papillae. (

cleft tongue

  • cleft tongue bifid tongue . (
  • Lingual thyroid Cleft tongue (bifid tongue) - completely cleft tongue is a rare condition caused by a failure of the lateral lingual swellings to merge. (

habitually pressed against the teeth

  • Erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) of papillae on the tip of the tongue may be a sign that the tongue is being habitually pressed against the teeth. (
  • This appearance is the result of indentations of the teeth where the tongue is habitually pressed against the teeth ("tongue thrusting", and example of oral parafunction). (


  • This is usually termed "antibiotic sore mouth", "antibiotic sore tongue", or "antibiotic-induced stomatitis" because it is commonly painful as well as red. (
  • Denture stomatitis observed in 18 (24%), followed by angular chelitis in 11 (14.6%), fissured tongue in 9 (12%), lingual varicosities in 7 (9.3%), sialosis among 5 (6.6%), xerostomia in 4 (5.3%) and oral lichen planus in 3 (4%) subjects. (


  • Hypoglossia - congenitally short tongue Microglossia Macroglossia - an abnormally large tongue, seen in some disorders such as Down syndrome (although macroglossia can be an acquired condition as well). (
  • Macroglossia is the medical term for an unusually large tongue. (
  • Some propose a distinction between true macroglossia, when histologic abnormalities correlate with the clinical findings of tongue enlargement, and relative macroglossia, where histology does not provide a pathologic explanation for the enlargement. (
  • This can be a cause of macroglossia if amyloid is deposited in the tissues of the tongue, which gives it a nodular appearance. (


  • glossitis (inflammation of the tongue) can accompany anemia, scarlet fever, nutritional deficiencies, and most general infections. (
  • One form of glossitis causes a smooth tongue, with a red, glazed appearance. (
  • Glossitis is a general term for tongue inflammation, which can have various etiologies, e.g. infection. (
  • Hemangioma Glossitis - some types of glossitis are caused by infections, e.g. median rhomboid glossitis (Candida species), "strawberry tongue" (seen in scarlet fever), and syphlitic glossitis (seen in tertiary syphilis). (
  • Glossitis Oral lichen planus Hypoglossal nerve weakness can cause atrophy and fasciculation of the tongue. (
  • Glossitis can mean soreness of the tongue, or more usually inflammation with depapillation of the dorsal surface of the tongue (loss of the lingual papillae), leaving a smooth and erythematous (reddened) surface, (sometimes specifically termed atrophic glossitis). (
  • In a wider sense, glossitis can mean inflammation of the tongue generally. (
  • Tongue soreness caused by glossitis is differentiated from burning mouth syndrome, where there is no identifiable change in the appearance of the tongue, and there are no identifiable causes. (
  • Depending upon what exact meaning of the word glossitis is implied, signs and symptoms might include: Smooth, shiny appearance of the tongue, caused by loss of lingual papillae. (
  • Candida species also may be involved in creating a more generalized glossitis with erythema, burning, and atrophy,[clarify] e.g. erythematous candidiasis (e.g. as may occur in HIV/AIDS) may involve the tongue giving glossitis with depapillation. (


  • On the tongue, there is loss of the lingual papillae (depapillation), leaving a smooth area. (
  • Examples of congenital disorders which affect the tongue include: Aglossia - complete absence of the tongue at birth Ankyloglossia (tongue tie) - where the lingual frenum tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth. (


  • To check the oral mucosa, the patient's cheek is exposed with a tongue depressor and the tissues inspected with a penlight. (


  • Other patterns may show a mostly dorsolateral position of the fissures (i.e. sideways running grooves on the tongue's upper surface). (
  • Fissured tongue (grooves in the tongue). (


  • There may be more red lesions on the tongue, which are well delimited and surrounded by a slightly raised white border. (
  • Tongue lesions are very common. (

filiform papillae

  • Fissured tongue with atrophy of the filiform papillae and a lobulated, erythematous appearance of the tongue. (


  • Fissured tongue is seen in Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome (along with facial nerve paralysis and granulomatous cheilitis). (


  • Cartilagenous (chondroid), and glial choristomas may also very rarely occur on the tongue. (
  • A lesion similar to morsicatio buccarum can occur on the tongue (sometimes called morsicatio linguarum), caused by chronic chewing on the tongue. (


  • They appear at top and sides of tongue and do not spread to other mucous membranes. (
  • Burning mouth syndrome is characterized by chronic burning sensation on the tongue and other oral mucous membranes in the absences of any identifiable signs or causes. (


  • The appearance of the tongue in iron deficiency anemia has been described as diffuse or patchy atrophy with tenderness or burning. (


  • Caviar tongue - the veins underneath the tongue can become dilated and prominent, giving the undersurface of the tongue a caviar like appearance. (


  • Pseudomembraneous candidiasis can involve any part of the mouth, but usually it appears on the tongue, buccal mucosae or palate. (
  • This coating has been identified as a major contributing factor in bad breath (halitosis), which can be managed by brushing the tongue gently with a toothbrush or using special oral hygiene instruments such as tongue scrapers or mouth brushes. (
  • Burning mouth syndrome - this chronic pain disorder commonly involves the tongue. (
  • When one's mouth resembles sandpaper, their tongue feels thick no matter what they do and they just can't produce saliva-they are exhibiting the classic symptoms of dry mouth. (
  • Assessment of the ventral (bottom) surface of the tongue is done by having the patient touch the tip of their tongue against the roof of their mouth. (
  • To assess the tonsils, a patient opens their mouth and a tongue blade is used to depress the tongue. (


  • raspberry tongue a diffusely reddened and swollen, uncoated tongue, as seen several days after the onset of the rash in scarlet fever. (

black hairy

  • Black hairy tongue - some factors thought to cause black hairy tongue are environmental, such as eating a soft diet, poor oral hygiene, smoking and antibiotic use. (

bifid tongue


  • coated tongue one covered with a white or yellow layer of desquamated epithelium, debris, bacteria, fungi, or other material. (
  • Leukoplakia - can affect the tongue Tongue coating - food debris, desquamated epithelial cells and bacteria often form a visible tongue coating. (
  • Food debris and some bacteria colonies may form in the fissures but this is almost always a condition with no symptoms. (

scarlet fever

  • Scarlet fever is caused by streptococci species, and starts as tonsilitis and pharyngitis before involving the soft palate and the tongue. (


  • Chronic low-grade trauma due to parafunctional habits (e.g. rubbing the tongue against the teeth or pressing it against the palate), may be involved. (
  • In edentulous persons, a lack of teeth leaves more room for the tongue to expand into laterally, which can create problems with wearing dentures and may cause pseudomacroglossia. (


  • Fissured Tongue is a condition in which cracks or fissures are observed on the surface of the tongue. (

facial nerve

  • Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is where OFG occurs with fissured tongue and paralysis of the facial nerve. (


  • Fissured tongue is also sometimes a feature of Cowden's syndrome. (
  • Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome - a neurological disorder characterized by fissured tongue, facial palsy and orofacial swelling. (


  • Intraoral halitosis - possibly due to increased activity of halitogenic biofilm on the posterior dorsal tongue (although dysgeusia may cause a complaint of nongenuine halitosis in the absence of hyposalivation). (


  • Irregular patches of depapillation form on the tongue giving the appearance of a map. (


  • It presents with recurrent episodes of small painful ulcers on the tongue and/or buccal mucosa, each episode lasting one to several weeks before healing. (
  • Oral lichen planus appears as white streaks in a lace-like pattern on the tongue and/or buccal mucosa. (


  • The taste buds are located in the papillae, which are projections on the upper surface of the tongue. (


  • Severe enlargement of the tongue can cause cosmetic and functional difficulties in speaking, eating, swallowing and sleeping. (
  • Although it may be asymptomatic, symptoms usually are more likely to be present and more severe with larger tongue enlargements. (



  • Tongue color changes, usually to a darker red color than the normal white-pink color of a healthy tongue. (


  • The sides (lateral) and undersurface (ventral) of the tongue are high risk sites for the development of oral cancer, most commonly squamous cell carcinoma. (


  • The most common causes of tongue enlargement are vascular malformations (e.g. lymphangioma or hemangioma) and muscular hypertrophy (e.g. (


  • Oral hairy leukoplakia (seen in people with immunosuppression, caused by Epstein-Barr virus) Oral candidiasis can affect the tongue. (
  • White, creamy patches appear on the oral mucosa or tongue which will leave raw red spots when the white patches are scraped off. (


  • All sides of the tongue are assessed. (
  • The sides of the tongue are inspected with a gloved hand holding a piece of gauze. (


  • Enlargement due to lymphangioma gives the tongue a pebbly appearance with multiple superficial dilated lymphatic channels. (
  • The tongue may show a diffuse, smooth generalized enlargement. (



  • Tongue diseases can be congenital or acquired, and are multiple in number. (


  • The clinical appearance is considerably varied in both the orientation, number, depth and length of the fissure pattern. (
  • The tongue is known to have many variations with pigmenting, size, appearance, & not always due to disease. (
  • When the tongue is extremely dry and has a leathery appearance, the cause may be uremia. (


  • The condition of the tongue can sometimes be a guide to the general condition of the body. (
  • Treatment is to scrape the tongue, which will remove the papilla but the condition can recur. (



  • The tongue may develop scalloping on the lateral margins, sometimes termed crenated tongue. (


  • In anatomy, a fissure is a deep, elongated groove or tear in various parts of the body. (


  • Considered according to a surgical sieve, some example conditions which can involve the tongue are discussed below. (
  • Treatment may also involve correction of orthodontic abnormalities that may have been caused by the enlarged tongue. (