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Fissured Tongue

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about fissured tongue?

Fissured tongue is a condition that causes deep grooves on the surface of your tongue. Some people also have grooves along the side of the tongue. Others may have one deep groove down the center of the tongue and smaller grooves that branch out. Fissured tongue may happen along with geographic tongue. Ask your healthcare provider for information about geographic tongue.

What causes fissured tongue?

The cause is not known. It may be related to any of the following:

  • Genetics
  • Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, or Down syndrome

How is fissured tongue treated?

Treatment is not usually needed. Food can become trapped in the grooves. The trapped food can cause your tongue to become irritated. Your healthcare provider will recommend the following:

  • Use mouthwash daily.
  • Brush your tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least 2 times per day.

When should I contact my healthcare or dental provider?

  • The soreness prevents you from eating.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.