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Odd patches on tongue that are red. Why did taste buds die? Is it geographic tongue?

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Dentist, Pedodontics
Practicing since : 1981
Answered : 24 Questions
Hi Doctor, my name is XXXXXXX Kantola. Im twenty years old and about 2 and a half weeks ago i noticed odd patches on my tongue. They at first were XXXXXXX red, they now appear to be getting better but they arent going away. It at first seemed that my taste buds justfell off. And now its become rougher again in the spots where it was once smooth. The patches do not move. I have read of geographic tongue and i wasnt born with this nor ever had it before. The oatches are right in the middle of my tongue they have no pain or tenderness, any idea?
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Amitabha Chakraborty 9 hours later
Thank you for your query.

It is extremely difficult to diagnose a clinical situation without visualizing it. But the photograph you sent and as per your history the most possible diagnosis is 'geographic tongue' or 'benign migratory glossitis'(BMG).

The name indicates it is benign. It is migratory, means there are areas of desquamation of tongue papillae (so called taste buds) remain few days in one location, heal and then reappear in another location, hence named as ‘migratory’ and glossitis is inflammatory condition of the tongue.

As your lesions are smooth and surrounded by a whitish band of papillae (buds), we are almost sure that you are suffering from BMG.

Don't worry. These lesions are self limiting. Duration varies from person to person. Often the surface of the lesion got fungal infection. You can safely use topical Clotrimazole or Miconazole cream twice daily. If the lesions does not heal totally by three months topical Triamcinolone acetonide 0.1 % cream, twice daily for 15 days.

Of course it will be always better to consult your local dentist before going for any treatment.

Hope this will solve your problem, and you are always welcome if you have any doubts or any query in your mind.

Thank you.
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