Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your doctor or dentist can usually make a diagnosis of geographic tongue based on an examination of your tongue and your answers to questions about signs and symptoms. However, your doctor will want to rule out other disorders.
During the exam, your doctor may do the following:
- Use a lighted instrument to examine your tongue and mouth
- Ask you to move your tongue around in various positions
- Gently touch (palpate) your tongue to check for tenderness or unusual changes in the tongue's texture or consistency
- Check for signs of infection, such as fever or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Assimakopoulos D, et al. Benign migratory glossitis or geographic tongue: An enigmatic oral lesion. American Journal of Medicine. 2002;113:751.
- Byrd JA, et al. Glossitis and other tongue disorders. Dermatologic Clinics. 2003;21:123.
- Reamy BV, et al. Common tongue conditions in primary care. American Family Physician. 2010;81:627.
- Shulman JD, et al. Prevalence and risk factors associated with geographic tongue among US adults. Oral Diseases. 2006;12:381.
- Carr AB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 23, 2010.