Geographic tongue is a condition that affects the top and sides of your tongue. Why it’s called what it’s called? Because it results in the formation of red, white or pink patches on the surface of your tongue, which forms distinct areas. Ergo geographic tongue.
Geographic tongue causes the papillae to become white and slightly pronounced, thus causing patches on the tongue that change position with time. This problem has been found more in people with psoriasis and has been considered to be the oral form of psoriasis. It could be triggered by stress, spicy food, oral para-functional habits, allergies, a nutritional deficiency, diabetes and hormonal disturbances. The condition is accompanied by burning sensation and pain.
Regardless of age, anyone can contract this condition. But it isn’t cancerous. All you paranoid junkies out there, no, it is not cancerous. It could persist for a month, year or relapse whenever it chooses to.
Geographic tongue has been said to have no cure. Several home remedies though, do come in handy, like the next few we’ve mentioned.
Home Remedies for Geographic Tongue Treatment
1. Dietary Choices
Avoiding or limiting food irritants that could aggravate the sensitivity of your tongue tissues might just help. Avoiding spicy food, tobacco products, acidic fruits and vegetables or highly sugary processed food wouldn’t be such a bad idea when your tongue is in splits.
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2. Vegetable Glycerin
One of the contributing factors of geographic tongue is dehydration. So in order to keep your tongue well moistened and supple, apply vegetable glycerin on it. What’s more? You could also rid foul smelling breath with this remedy. Using glycerin mouthwash twice or thrice a day will help greatly in treating geographic tongue. Alternatively, soak a ball of cotton in vegetable glycerin and apply on affected areas to alleviate the discomfort that may be brewing in your mouth.
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3. Aloe Vera
Here comes the “know-all-see all-cure-all” plant aloe vera. Yes, it’s good for your skin. Yes, it’s good for your hair. And apparently, it’s good for curing geographic tongue too. No way! It also comes with the added bonus of ridding bad breath. Looks like this one’s a win-win. Applying fresh aloe vera gel two or three times a day on your tongue has been shown to provide relief.
Also read : How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath?
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV can help treat geographic tongue naturally at home. A few drops of this wonder liquid can help restore the pH levels in your mouth and will also fend off an infection and curb it from spreading.
What you have to do:
Mix one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar along with a quarter of baking soda dissolved in a glass of water. This is to be used as a mouthwash 2 or 3 times a day. To be used till the condition no longer persists.
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5. Fluid Intake
Hydration is the key. Hence always make sure to increase your fluid intake, which in this case will not only ease the discomfort caused, but also promote oral health on the whole. Sucking on ice also helps. Be sure to eat plenty of water based fruits and veggies, such as cucumber and watermelon. Drink fruit juices, coconut water, chamomile tea or green tea to see visible results in no time.
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6. Oil Pulling
This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that could treat the patches on your tongue which essentially helps in removing the toxins from not just your mouth, but also your body.
What you have to do:
Take a tablespoon of organic (preferably) sesame or coconut oil in your mouth and gargle for about ten minutes. Spit the oil out soon after and rinse with warm water.
Use this remedy before you eat anything early in the morning. Make sure not to swallow the oil though.
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Ah, the magic of mint. It doesn’t just taste great, but also keeps many oral problems at bay. A natural breath freshener and bacteria buster, mint’s got it all.
Mint tea is an effective home remedy when chilled and then consumed. Also chew on some fresh mint leaves or gum daily.
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8. Hydrogen Peroxide
Inhibiting the growth of bacteria in your mouth and nipping the red patches at the bud is what our dear old friend hydrogen peroxide is up to. However, keep in mind that three percent hydrogen peroxide is what you need. Anything more than that will burn your tongue.
Make a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Soak a cotton ball in it and gently apply over the affected areas. To be washed off with warm water after a few seconds. Use at your discretion till the condition no longer persists.
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9. Vitamin B
Include foods rich in vitamin B such as milk, cheese, oats, bran, bananas, turkey, liver and whole grains. Little known fact is that geographic tongue is caused by a vitamin B deficiency too. Vitamin B does great job in preventing the recurring red patches on your tongue. You may also opt for Vitamin B supplements, they work equally fine.
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Zinc seems to be a legitimate remedy for geographic tongue too. Hence, taking zinc supplements or eating zinc enriched foods may help ease the discomforts. Zinc also promotes proper senses of taste and smell. If supplements aren’t your thing, then include milk, cheese, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, spinach or any other green leafy vegetables in your diet.
Must read : 15 Zinc Rich Foods For Zinc Deficiency
Before you unleash a full fledged paranoia attack on yourself, do try out these remedies and watch how your little geographical condition fades away in no time. What shouldn’t ignore is that when natural home remedies do exist, resorting to over the counter drugs isn’t exactly the best idea.