Geographic tongue (benign migratory glossitis) is a chronic, recurring disorder characterized by pink to red, slightly depressed lesions with irregular, elevated, curvilinear white or yellow borders. The lesions are areas of dekeratinization and desquamation of filiform papilla. The pattern of dekeratinization and desquamation changes continuously, creating the migratory appearance. The lesions occur predominantly on the top and sides of the anterior tongue. Geographic tongue typically is asymptomatic but may be painful when inflamed. Apart from reassurance, sometimes avoidance of acidic foods and beverages is required if lesions are inflamed.
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