GROOVED TONGUE- Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms - Watsons Health


Grooved tongue is also called as cracked tongue. About five percent of people have a grooved tongue.

The cracks will be one or more shallow or deep cracks – known as fissures, furrows, grooves.

Cracked tongue, lingua plicata, scrotal tongue are the other names of grooved tongue. These cracks are considered to be hereditary.

A grooved tongue may occur along with geographic tongue.


Cracks on the top surface of the tongue is one of the symptoms of grooved tongue. Cracks may also develop on the edges of the tongue.

The size and depth of the cracks differ and may or may not be related to each other.

People with grooved tongue should brush on the top surface of their tongue to clear the debris that have accumulated in the cracks.

Symptoms of geographic tongue are listed below:


  • Red, smooth, irregular lesions on the top surface of the tongue
  • Locations, shape and size of the lesions that change frequently
  • Eating acidic or spicy foods results in pain, discomfort or burning sensation


Many people who have geographic tongue does not show any signs and symptoms.


A dentist or general physician can diagnose geographic tongue by examining your tongue and symptoms.

During the examination, your doctor may do the following:

  • Check your tongue and mouth with the help of a lighted instrument
  • Look for abnormal changes or tenderness in texture or consistency of the tongue
  • Check for symptoms of swollen lymph nodes in your neck


Grooved tongue can get treated by itself without any medicines. However, it may make you feel discomfort in the tongue.

To help relieve the discomfort, you can take the following medicines

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Mouth rinses with an anesthetic or antihistamine
  • Corticosteroid rinses or ointments
  • Vitamin B supplements

Since grooved tongue does not need any treatment, it is hard to determine whether these above-mentioned medicines work or not. However, they help you relieve the symptoms.





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