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UPDATE: Weird red mark on dd's tongue - geographic tongue!!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

 My 3 yr old dd has a red blotch on the front of her tongue.  It is fingernail size, and red.  She has had it as long as I can remember but never paid attention to it.  Whe I took her to the Dr I was told that many children have the same mark and they don't knw why.  What could this be?

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

I contacted the pediatrician to find out the name of the spot and it is geographic tongue. Just googling about it, I read that it can be painful, but my 3 yr dd never complains about it. Anyone deal with this or have info on it?

post #3 of 17
I have it. I think, its self diagnosed. It doesn't normally cause me any pain, and from my reading, while it CAN be painful, it often isn't. Sometimes mine is painful, but its more of a discomfort than pain, and its only sometimes, not constant. Most often I find its in conjunction with an overgrown, white taste bud in the red area. I've taken to snipping those off and the relief is immediate.

But the pain normally isn't that bad even when its present. If you get canker sores, for instance, those are WAY more irritating and painful than any pain I've ever had from geographic tongue.
post #4 of 17

Oubliette8 - thanks for posting.  I also have it & dentists have told me what it is.  I sometimes get sore spots.  I never thought about snipping off an overgrown tastebud.  I'll try that next time. 

 

I don't have many problems other than acidic foods or fruit juices bugging me sometimes.

post #5 of 17
No problem, I generally use nail clippers, its probably best to have a pair dedicated to the purpose, otherwise there's a possibility of cross contamination from whatever gunk is under your nails.

Be prepared that it does bleed a bit, but it generally stops within a few minutes and the tongue heals incredibly fast. Once the bleeding stops, you wont even know it was cut.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

I don't think cutting my 3 yr old tongue is even an option.  Ha.  I can barely get her to hold still for me to clip her nails.

post #7 of 17
rotfl, sorry, I wasn't thinking of that for your little one, I should have been more clear. It doesn't sound like she has an issue with it, I'm sure if it hurt, she'd tell you. If it does hurt, a tiny bit of chloraseptic or other oral numbing agent temporarily dulls the pain from geographic tongue and it goes away in a day or two.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubliette8 View Post

rotfl, sorry, I wasn't thinking of that for your little one, I should have been more clear. It doesn't sound like she has an issue with it, I'm sure if it hurt, she'd tell you. If it does hurt, a tiny bit of chloraseptic or other oral numbing agent temporarily dulls the pain from geographic tongue and it goes away in a day or two.

I am so glad of the comments.  I just don't know what the kids dr didn't mention that there could be pain involved.  She just said it was no big deal.

post #9 of 17

13 yr old DD has a geographic tongue. Hers is so pronounced that we first noticed it when she was a tiny baby.. and for the longest time, kept having it misdiagnosed as thrush. Once, it had gotten so bad that her nurse actually accused me of scalding her with formula. When her new doctor checked it out, he diagnosed it on the spot. I believe she was around 3 months old at the time.

 

This is not DD's tongue, but it's pretty much identical to what hers will do during what we'd consider a bad *flare*.

http://www.geographictonguehelp.com/images/geographic-tongue-picture-4.jpg

 

And this resembles how it looks any other time..

http://www.maxillofacialcenter.com/images/geogtongueC4.jpg

 

Yes, it can be uncomfortable at times.. DD says that in the areas of deep redness, sometime it sort of feels like she scalded it a bit by drinking something too hot. Chloraseptic works wonders for her. Also, another thing that her ped. told me when she was still a baby is that many times, just as she's coming down with a virus or is getting sick in some way, it will flare. I haven't the slightest clue why, but this has been SO true, in our experience!! She always has some sort of splotchiness going on, but it never fails.. every time it flares badly, she's sickly within a day.


I hope this helps in some way..


Edited by Frootloop - 12/7/10 at 7:32am
post #10 of 17

Frootloop- my son's tongue is exactly the same, I hate when he sticks his tongue out to be silly in pics b/c it looks gross; even on a good day!  He has trouble with acidic fruits, tomato sauces, chocolate, minty things (like some toothpastes).He usually has 2 bad flares a month. Starting when he was just a few months old he was treated for thrush- finally we saw a great pediatrician who said it absolutely was not thrush that it was just geographic tongue! 

post #11 of 17

I have this as well, I honestly can't remember it being really painful as a child. I imagine it may be getting worse, who knows! Same things irritate it as PP have mentioned. Citrus acid seems to be the worst for me, I *love* fresh pineapple but that stuff kills my tongue for the entire day. I can drink a small glass of no pulp OJ but oranges don't seem to bother me too much. Toothpaste is never fun. I can have any kind of grapefruit drink or the fruit itself and it doesn't bother me. It's kind of random! ETA: A lot of nuts irritate it as well, just FYI! Walnuts are the worst. 

Anyway a good friend of mine has pain with about half the food she eats and is taking soy lecithin for it, she says she takes an extra one or two with flare ups and it helps very quickly. I wanted to throw that out there for anyone struggling with it, I had never heard of soy lecithin used for that purpose before! 


Edited by jessica_s - 12/7/10 at 8:28pm
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by letabug View Post

Frootloop- my son's tongue is exactly the same, I hate when he sticks his tongue out to be silly in pics b/c it looks gross; even on a good day! 



Mine is kinda freaky too, I have 2 really deep grooves and the sides my my tongue never look normal. I like grossing out my husband with it. :D

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Bumping this thread as my dd is 4 mow and her tongue is still the same. Sometimes the make is gone and sometimes it is huge and freaky looking. Still not sure why she has this.
post #14 of 17

I'm not sure what kind of answer's you are looking for, but here's a link about the condition.  There's quite a bit of info out there if you use Google.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002044/

 

 

post #15 of 17

I've had geographic tongue my whole life. Now that I'm an adult, it causes absolutely no problems for me except I feel like I have an increased sense of taste! Which is awesome and probably why I love food so much ;) 

But when I was younger, my tongue would easily become red and 'burnt' feeling if I ate high acidic foods, like grapefruit, tomatos, tomato sauce, orange juice, ect. Actually if I eat too much of those things it can still cause a problem but nothing like it did when I was a child. 

 

When I go to the dentist the dentist always calls the other doctors over to come look at it and they always seem impressed by it? lol weird i know. Apparently your tastebuds actually move around...My dentist said if I took a picture of my tongue every day then the taste buds would always be in a different pattern. 

 

It's nothing at all to worry about!  It's just a unique thing about her :) 

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yeah it is so weird looking. She never complains of it hurting ever and I haven't noticed a pattern of when it flares up. It grows and shrinks all the time.
post #17 of 17

My daughter is 9 now and was first diagnosed with geographic tongue as a baby.  She never mentions it hurting and actually likes to look in the mirror to see what shapes are on her tongue each day, lol.

 

The part that I find absolutely fascinating is that when she was first diagnosed and I looked up info on geographic tongue I found that there is thought to possibly be a link to it and psoriasis.  It is much more common among psoriasis patients than it is among the general population.  It's also thought to be twice as common in females as in males. I was fascinated by that because I have psoriasis which is auto-immune related and likely genetic.  So far my daughter has shown no signs of psoriasis (thank goodness!) and I don't have geographic tongue, but I do find it interesting to have two possibly related conditions show up the way that they have.

 

I also think it's interesting that people have noticed it popping up prior to illness coming on.  That makes me wonder if it's actually auto-immune related like psoriasis.  I know it's generally fairly benign so no money is really going to be spent studying, but I wish that I could find out those answers.  I think it would be really interesting to know if geographic tongue, psoriasis, and auto-immune are all related.

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