Geographical tongue is a term used to describe slowly changing red rings and lines which are seen on the surface of the tongue. The dorsum of the tongue is almost exclusively affected.
It is common in early infancy, and in most people it is asymptomatic but in middle age some complain of soreness. Neither reassurance or symptomatic treatment gives benefit. The tongue may become painful, but is not usually of clinical significance. The condition tends to come and go.
Geographical tongue may be a feature of vitamin B2 deficiency.
Last reviewed 01/2018