By: Mark Castleden
Fissured or cracked tongue is a condition frequently seen in the general population. It's also known as ‘scrotal tongue’ or ‘lingua plicata’ and is characterized by one or more fissures or grooves on the tongue. Why is your tongue cracked? What are the causes of cracked tongue? Can a cracked tongue heal?
There are other questions you might want to ask if you're suffering from a cracked tongue. We will try to answer some of them.
I have had cracks in my tongue (Cracked tongue) for as long as I can remember. For the most part it didn't bother me. Now, for the past year, I've had lots of pain - it comes and goes. Sometimes I get a painful pimple or blister on the tip of my tongue. Also there are times when it feels like pins and needles in my tongue. My doctor tells me my tongue is swollen. Why is my tongue cracked? Do you know a cure for my cracked tongue?
What Causes Cracked Tongue...
There is no known reason for cracked tongue but by virtue of its anatomical position, the tongue is subject to irritants from multiple different sources. Anything coming into the mouth, such as hot or spicy foods, can burn or irritate the tongue, and thus become the source of recurring pain or swelling. The tongue can rub against uneven or broken teeth causing a recurrent, painful problem resulting in a cracked tongue.
During times of anxiety or tension, even during sleep, people can chew on their tongue leading to damage (cracks in tongue amongst other things). Additionally, allergic reactions to foods can cause the symptoms you describe. A problem called 'acid reflux' brings acid from the stomach into the throat and mouth, usually at night, with a resultant burning of the tongue. Tobacco in any form as well as alcohol are significant tongue irritants.
Problems may also develop in the tongue without an apparent outside cause.
The cracks you describe can be due to a 'fissured' or 'scrotal' tongue, which is a benign problem. A 'geographic' tongue is when the tongue sheds part of its top layer; this leaves red, tender areas on the tongue that look like a map. After healing, the tongue is back to normal, but the problem is often recurrent.
More seriously, cancers or pre-cancer growths can develop in or on the tongue causing pain and swelling. Therefore, if you have noticed fissures or cracks in your tongue and if you have not already done so, I highly recommend that you have your problem evaluated by an ear, nose and throat physician (an otorhinologist).
Are Cracked Tongue and Diabetes linked?
A cracked tongue may be an indication of a yeast infection, and diabetics are more prone to infections than the general population. Other medical conditions, such as anemia and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, or local irritants, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol, and strong mouthwashes, may also cause cracked tongue. If you are concerned about a sore, cracked tongue or burning tongue, talk to your doctor.
A Treatment for Cracked Tongue?
Cracked tongue is a benign problem that does not require any specific treatment or cure. You can brush the top surface of your tongue to remove any remainder that may cause irritation.
Cracked tongue is a frequent condition that can cause mouth pain. You can learn more about what is causing a painful mouth?