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Cracks in tongue - symptom of something?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This has been bugging me for some time now and I thought I'd ask. I hope the MDC community can show me the way!

In the past few years, my tongue started to look red and cracked. I used to attribute the cracks to the food I ate, but it is slowly becoming apparent that this can't be the cause since they're not going away and are getting deeper and more pronounced. I've had thrush on and off too, which I believe is a secondary infection and it comes and goes depending on my diet. I have cleaned up my diet and get a daily dose of kefir, which I think is partly responsible for yeast control.

My grandfather also has it but worse. He says he must have burned his tongue when he was little. I'm starting to wonder whether that is true.

So, what do you guys think? Is this something more than a nuisance?
post #2 of 10
Well, 2 things:

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the condition of the tongue as a diagnostic tool. You could probably google this. Primarily, they look at the coating - or lack thereof - and the shape (thin, long, wide, fat...). However, I suspect that a TCM tongue tutorial might give you some insight.

Secondly, have you tried an L-lysine amino acid supplement? Works wonders on sore mouth (and lip) parts.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hah! I went to see a TCM practitioner in pregnancy and he pulled away when he saw my tongue. I had thrush badly and was hoping he could help. There is no way I could go see him now, 2 hours away and very expensive. (Hundreds of dollars a visit, visits every few weeks. ) Living in a small town, it'll get to you sometimes.

I will look for a TCM tongue tutorial and look into L-lysine. Those hadn't occurred to me.

post #4 of 10
Here are some links about diagnosing with the tongue:



I used to know one that had pictures of actual tongues, but I can't find it right now.
post #5 of 10
Dear Serena
yes susan is right,in TCM Trad. Chinese Meds the tongue is a indicator to our organs. The yingyang link is a good one.................
Also in Ayurvedic medicine from india they use a tongue scrapper to get rid of "Amla" toxins. Each morning same time as when you brush your teeth.

A white coat indicates a sort of mucous buildup can be candida /yeast related.
Go back to the TCM......................An conventional md is totally clueless regards these indicators.

post #6 of 10
Hi, Serena:

I have no clue and think you should see a doc if you are really concerned it might be something serious. But here's some thoughts:

It could be fissured tongue. By itself is a harmless condition, although it can be associated with certain uncommon diseases.

From eMedicine: Fissured Tongue

Fissured tongue is a condition frequently seen in the general population that is characterized by grooves that vary in depth and are noted along the dorsal and lateral aspects of the tongue. Although a definitive etiology is unknown, a polygenic mode of inheritance is suspected because the condition is seen clustering in families who are affected. Patients are usually asymptomatic, and the condition is initially noted on routine intraoral examination as an incidental finding....Fissured tongue is a totally benign condition and is considered by most to be a variant of normal tongue architecture....Although fissured tongue may be diagnosed initially during childhood, it is diagnosed more frequently in adulthood. The prominence of the condition appears to increase with increasing age....

* On clinical examination, fissured tongue affects the dorsum and often extends to the lateral borders of the tongue.

* The depth of the fissures varies but has been noted to be up to 6 mm in diameter.

* When particularly prominent, the fissures or grooves may be interconnected, separating the tongue dorsum into what may appear to be several lobules.

Causes: Although a specific etiology has not been elicited, a polygenic or autosomal dominant mode of inheritance is suspected because this condition is seen with increased frequency in families with an affected proband.


From DermNetNZ (with pictures): Fissured tongue

Fissured tongue is also known as ‘scrotal tongue’ or ‘lingua plicata’. It is a benign condition characterised by one or more shallow or deep grooves or furrows (fissures) on the top surface of the tongue....The cause of fissured tongue is not clearly defined but it may occur with certain underlying syndromes or may be an inherited condition....Fissured tongue is a benign condition that does not require any specific treatment. Patients should be encouraged to brush the top surface of their tongue to remove any debris that may cause irritation or infection when lodged between the grooves.


If your tongue also has red patches, it might be geographic tongue (benign migratory glossitis). Pics and info from DermNetNZ.


As I said, I have no real idea what's up with your tongue. Just trying to give you some info to consider.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys - I've got things to study now.

Those pics look kinda scary, but yeah my tongue is not so bad but close to what they show. It's kinda cool that there's an entry for it. I even have a psoriasis diagnosis. (Though not pustular.) Too bad there is no treatment aside from steroids.

Thanks. I do use a tongue scraper - I started to when thrush got bad. Sometimes it makes my tongue more sore though. I would love to go back to the TCM practitioner, but I simply don't have the funds right now.

very informative! Though this kind of gives me other things to worry about, like my heart. Yikes!

I wish I had a TCM practitioner near me.
post #8 of 10
Dear serena
Steroids are verry dangerous please read more
www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com (searchbox type steroids) Please be carefull!!!!!!!!!
TCM has schools all over the USA in these schools there are clinics,you can get help for a reduced fee

post #9 of 10
My aunt has this and our chiro said she often sees it in vegans due to vit b deficiency. So, something else to look into.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
no worries - i learned my lesson.

I'll look into vitamin deficiencies. btw, i *love* your location! <3
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