Geographic tongue is a benign condition and is not dangerous. But if you are wondering is geographic tongue contagious then here we are to help you out with this question.
About Geographic Tongue
Causes of geographic tongue are unknown but it is said that it happens because of the missing papillae which are the tiny pinkish bumps present on the surface of the tongue. It can be observed as pink or red patches which have a white border. It forms a map like structure and hence, it is called geographic tongue. These patches move and after every 3 to 4 hours you will observe a different structure, the reason why it is also known as benign migratory glossitis.
It is found in 2% of the people and is more common in women than men. It can be discomforting and may become sensitive to certain substances. It looks quite alarming but it is not dangerous. Some people show a family history of geographic tongue, so you can say that your family background does matter in making you susceptible of getting geographic tongue.
Is It Contagious?
Whatever be the cause, geographic tongue is not at all contagious. Many people think that they can get this condition while coming into contact with the affected person at the time of kissing or eating together. But it will not do any harm or will not spread from one person to another. It is not a disease nor an infection, it is just a condition which goes with time. Geographic tongue just stays for some days or months and disappears on its own. This condition may get elevated with some environmental conditions and get sensitive to some food items.
Some of the geographic tongue symptoms are bad taste in mouth, discoloration of the surface of the tongue, numbness, etc. Though geographic tongue is not contagious, there are some factors which may increase the risk of having it. Following are some of them.
- People who have grooves or fissures in their tongue are more susceptible of getting geographic tongue.
- Genetic factors are one of the most common factors which are observed in many people. People with a family history of geographic tongue have more chances of getting it.
- Allergy and hypersensitivity of the immune system may trigger this condition.
- Other risk factors may include skin disorder, stress, oral contraceptive used, etc.
Geographic Tongue Prevention
There are no specific geographic tongue treatments as it goes away with time. Hence the best way to avoid it is to follow some simple preventive measures. Following are some of them.
- Some foods like spicy foods, tomatoes, eggplant, walnuts, citrus fruits, etc., may trigger geographic tongue conditions. It may also cause irritation, burning and swelling.
- People who are susceptible to this condition should avoid smoking as it can aggravate the condition.
- Healthy food which includes fresh vegetables, fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals may help in avoiding such conditions.
- You should maintain proper oral hygiene in order to stay way from the diseases and infections which can make your tongue susceptible to geographic tongue.
- Drink plenty of water which will help you to detoxify your body and will help you to remain safe from getting geographic tongue.
Geographic tongue can be avoided by following some simple methods given in this article. Hence you don’t need to worry about getting this tongue condition. If you experience excessive swelling, problems in speaking and swallowing, etc. then contact a doctor immediately for further assistance.