Preparing for your appointment

If you're concerned about the appearance of your tongue, make an appointment with your dentist.

What you can do

Prepare questions ahead of time to make the most of your appointment. Basic questions to ask include:

  • What's the likely cause of my condition?
  • Could there be any other possible causes?
  • Is my condition permanent?
  • What treatments are available?
  • Is there anything I can do at home to relieve discomfort?
  • What should I do if my condition flares up again?

What to expect from your doctor

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • When did the lesions first appear?
  • Have the lesions changed in appearance or location on your tongue?
  • Have you had any other lesions in your mouth?
  • Have you experienced any discomfort or pain?
  • Does anything, such as spicy or acidic food, seem to trigger pain?
  • Have you had any other symptoms that may seem unrelated to the condition of your tongue?
  • Have you had a fever?
May 12, 2017
  1. Usatine RP, et al. Geographic tongue. In: The Color Atlas of Family Medicine, 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. Accessed Jan. 27, 2017.
  2. Mangold AR, et al. Diseases of the tongue. Clinics in Dermatology. 2016;34:458.
  3. AskMayoExpert. Geographic tongue. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  4. Goldstein BG, et al. Oral lesions. Accessed Jan. 26, 2017.
  5. Geographic tongue. The American Academy of Oral Medicine. Accessed Jan. 27, 2017.
  6. Picciani BL, et al. Geographic tongue and psoriasis: Clinical, histopathological, immunohistochemical and genetic correlation — A literature review. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. 2016;4:410.
  7. Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 28, 2017.