Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Geographic tongue typically doesn't require any medical treatment. Although geographic tongue can sometimes cause tongue discomfort, it's otherwise a harmless condition.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to manage discomfort or sensitivity:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Mouth rinses with an anesthetic
- Antihistamine mouth rinses
- Corticosteroid ointments or rinses
Because these treatments haven't been studied rigorously, their benefit is uncertain. Since the condition resolves on its own and has an unpredictable course, you may not be able to tell if the symptomatic treatments are actually working.
- 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.