Geographic tongue

Patches on the tongue; Tongue - patchy; Benign migratory glossitis; Glossitis - benign migratory

Geographic tongue is characterized by irregular patches on the surface of the tongue. This gives it a map-like appearance.


The tongue is mainly composed of muscles. It is covered with a mucous membrane. Small nodules of tissue, called papillae, cover the upper surface of the tongue. Between the papillae are the taste buds, which provide the sense of taste. In addition to taste, the tongue functions in moving food to aid chewing and swallowing, and it is important in speech.



Exams and Tests


Outlook (Prognosis)

When to Contact a Medical Professional