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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tongue Cracks: Common Causes and Other Details

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Are there cracks on your tongue for as long as you can remember? Do not panic. It may be quite rare (experts say that only 2 to 5 percent of people in the US has it) but it’s benign, which means that it cannot harm you in any way. However, still it doesn’t look normal as the tongue should have no cracks.

Everybody calls the issue tongue cracks, but doctors call it fissured tongue. Sometimes it is also referred to in the medical community as scrotal tongue or lingua plicata. Those cracks usually appear in childhood but they may also show up during adulthood. And just like wrinkles on the face, they tend to become deeper or more pronounced the older the individual who has those cracks gets!

But worry not as the cracks will keep on remaining benign. As a matter of fact, they do not cause any pain. This means you can have tongue cracks and still enjoy a smooth-sailing day.

No matter if you have tongue cracks or someone you love, or you’re just interested to know more about such matter, keep on reading. Below you will come across some of the most important things about it.

Signs and Symptoms

The cracks may appear on practically any part of the tongue. They may be observed on the top surface or along the sides. It’s important to note that tongue cracks, just like what they are called suggests, only affect the tongue. If there are cracks elsewhere in the oral cavity, then the matter is an entirely different issue that needs to be checked ASAP.

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It’s possible for the cracks to vary tremendously in depth. Some of them may be as deep as 6 mm (millimeters). The deeper the cracks get, needless to say, the more debris that may collect in them.

Several different cracks may appear on the tongue at the same time. It’s very much possible for them to connect to one another, thus giving the tongue the appearance that it is composed of various lobes or sections. Having cracked tongue may look painful, but there is definitely no pain involved.


According to health authorities, there are various conditions that can be blamed for tongue cracks, and Down syndrome is one of the most common of the bunch. In fact, experts estimate that about 80 percent of all children with Down syndrome have tongue cracks. Yes, those cracks on the tongue tend to appear during childhood.

There is another condition, albeit very rare, that can also bring about tongue cracks. Referred to as Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, it is characterized by Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis) that tends to come and go.

Geographic tongue is another matter that is commonly associated with tongue cracks. Also sometime referred to as benign migratory glossitis, it is characterized by the absence of those tiny pink-colored bumps on the tongue. In place of those little bumps are large red-colored spots that are smooth and have slightly raised borders.


Because cracked tongue is something that does not cause pain or any other serious problem, there is no need for it to be treated. So much so that scientists never bothered to come up with solutions for it.

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However, it’s possible for debris to collect in those cracks on the tongue, such as food particles and dead cells. When that happens, the individual who has cracked tongue may suffer from bad breath, which can be easily be prevented from striking simply by having the tongue cleaned on a regular basis.

If there is pain or any other unusual symptom, it is definitely a good idea for the individual with cracked tongue to pay a dentist a visit ASAP in order to have the issue checked.


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