Human tongue is an important organ. It has several functions to play at a time. It helps to taste the food, chew and swallow it. It is an organ without which you are unable to speak. Besides, tongue is the strongest muscle in the body. With so many qualities put together, slight harm to the tongue can lead to unrelenting problems. It may be quite annoying and worrisome when you look at fissured tongue for the first time in front of a mirror.
However, if it is so keep your mind cool, there is no cause of concern.Fissures and grooves on top surface of tongue is variant of normal tongue. Medical people also call it “scrotal tongue” or ‘lingua plicata’. The exact cause still remains unknown, but researchers attribute it to be a hereditary or associated with medical syndromes. Except for slight burning sometime after eating spicy food, fissures in tongue is harmless.
Fissured Tongue Causes
- The exact cause of fissured tongue still remains unresolved. Many believe it to be a heredity issue. There are several members in a family seen with fissured tongue. In this type the fissures may appear since childhood.
- Fissures can also develop in adult life. With growing age, these grooves and fissures will also deepen similar to that of wrinkles on skin.
- According to an estimate, 2 to 5 % of people in United States are having fissured tongue. It is more common in men than in women, though the reason of its predominance in men is not known.
- Fissured tongue is found to be associated with several health syndromes. Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a rare condition which is associated with fissured tongue. Another known condition called Down’s syndrome also has fissured tongue as one of its manifestation.
- Tertiary syphilis has become so rare in present generation that many doctors may have never seen even one case in their life time. But it is one cause for fissures in tongue that needs to be mentioned.
Symptoms of Fissured Tongue
Fissured tongue has few characteristics that can distinguish it from other normal physiological tongue issues.
- There are several grooves and cracks on the surface of tongue and on its side.
- The size and depth of fissures may vary from person to person. With growing age, the depth of fissures varies.
- When the fissures are large and connect with each other, they may appear as several lobes.
- Many times the patient may complain of burning after consuming chilies and spicy food.
- Deep seated grooves and fissures can be a breeding site for Candida albicans, a type of yeast when present in excess can cause many problems in body.
- There is no bleeding from any fissures and grooves.
How to Get Rid Of Fissured Tongue
People having fissured tongue usually learn to live with the condition as it is harmless. Fissures in tongue cannot be eradicated. Since it is a benign condition, patient does not require any specific treatment for fissured tongue.
Patient who has fissures in his tongue should regularly clean his tongue when he is brushing his teeth. This is to prevent accumulate of food particles and debris into the grooves. Also the growth of Candida can be tackled in this way.
Swishing the mouth with salt water or salt water gargling can also help in curtailing the multiplication of Candida colonies.