Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

Geographic tongue July 18, 2011

Remember way back, over a year ago when Ayla was a little newborn with horrid thrush… wow, that seems like yesterday! I mentioned in my post about it  that she had these raised bumps on her tongue? Well, it turns out that these had nothing to do with thrush, and everything to do with her dad!! They both have geographic tongues.  I didn’t realise at the time was genetic, so didn’t give it a thought. And since she had thrush on her bum I presumed this was thrush too. But no!  They have remained.

Although there are days when her tongue is almost completely smooth, and days when they look like the surface of the moon, craters all over! The craters are like bald patches surrounded by a thin white line.   There is nothing you can do about geographic tongues. It is not serious, it does not hurt, bother or hinder her in any way. Steven is slightly embarrassed about his, but that’s it.  He just doesn’t go about sticking his tongue out. And no, it doesn’t change snogging or intimacy in any way…

The technical name for geographic tongue is Migratory Glossitis.  What happens is the little bumps on the tongue, called papillae, actually fall off.  They replace themselves within 7 to 10 days, but as the new bumps grow, so another patch starts to lose it’s bumps.

Although not common, it can be painful for some people, especially after eating certain foods (spicy, sharp, sour or citrus) . The penny has dropped…maybe this is why Ayla won’t eat oranges!  It is most common in people who are environmentally sensitive – have allergies, eczema or asthma.  And it often runs in families and is worse during periods of stress.  It is more common in females and is worse before periods and during ovulation and pregnancy.  I am watching Ayla’s at the moment, but I think it is worse while I am ovulating…makes sense since she still breastfeeds loads.

Apparently Vitamin B & Zinc are often prescribed for it, although it doesn’t seem to bother my darlings, so we haven’t tried it. I daresay our diet is quite high in these things anyway!

This is not her tongue, but this would be a on a really bad day!

Hers is probably more like this most of the time


2 Responses to “Geographic tongue”

  1. Chad Says:

    Our son also has this and it has proven to be an early detection for us. He has an under-developed esophagus. That means that simple colds have a severe effect on him. However, we’ve noticed that a couple of days before the sickness sets in, his geographic tongue will become more pronounced. That is a sign to us to start him on his specialized respiratory therapies.

  2. Interesting!! Ayla (and her little friend who also has a geographic tongue), have both been put on inhalers, quite young. I think Ayla was about 5 months when I spent hours in A&E and ended up getting an inhaler, spacer & steroids. I only used the first steroid as Ayla mended quickly and I don’t like using drugs unnecessarily. The doctor said that her bronchial tubes are small and that everytime she gets a cold she is likely to have the chesty/asthma type thing, but that she will grow out of it. Same thing presumably. Haven’t noticed the correlation between tongue and sickness though, will have to pay more attention! Her tongue is pretty bad at the moment, I hope she’s not coming down with anything else, as she just had a chesty thing a couple of weeks ago. What are the respiratory therapies you use?

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