Cracked Tongue

The appearance of fissures on the tongue can be preceded by a set of causes, which the doctor must detect in order to rid the patient of the problem.

Doctors are used to considering the tongue as an organ that reflects the work of the body as a whole. No matter what you complain about, your doctor will ask you to stick out your tongue and examine it carefully. And at the dentist’s office, the tongue will get special attention. All because of glossitis. The word is beautiful, but the condition is not. Glossitis is an inflammation of the tongue, one of the signs of which is the appearance of cracks.

Cracked Tongue – Causes

  • Bacterial and viral infections: This applies not only to infections in the oral cavity. Viruses and bacteria spread throughout the body, and the infection manifests itself on the tongue. The most common cause of tongue cracks is the herpes virus.
  • Anemia: Lack of iron can cause glossitis. Iron carries a special protein, myoglobin, which is responsible for healthy muscle tissue. If there is not enough iron, all muscles suffer, including the tongue.
  • Allergic reactions: The body’s response to various allergens: food, medications, sometimes even toothpaste components can cause inflammation.
  • Oral trauma: Burns, cuts, or any type of mechanical trauma can cause bacteria to breed, resulting in inflammation.
  • Vitamin deficiency: Vitamin B deficiency has been scientifically proven to cause a cracked tongue.

Cracked Tongue

Types of Glossitis

Depending on the causes that provoke inflammation, the following forms of the disease are distinguished:


Develops quickly, with a pronounced allergic reaction – very quickly. In severe cases, it can block the airways.


Inflammation develops as a result of prolonged exposure to a pathogen or irritant. With chronic disease, regular exposure to objects with sharp edges, such as lollipops or nuts, the disease is mild and can lead to serious consequences. This type is characterized by deep cracks on the tongue.


The papillae on the tongue atrophy, the surface becomes smooth and may crack. Causes discomfort in the mouth and changes in taste recognition.


It is also called geographic. The tongue is crisscrossed with lines and furrows like a geographic map and is often caused by herpes, candida, helminth infestations. While some areas recover, inflammation moves to other areas, which is why it is also called migratory. Cured cracks on the tip of the tongue – they appeared closer to the root, and so on for a long time.


In this type, cracks on the tongue look like a geometric figure. The cracks appear in the middle of the tongue, so it is sometimes called medial glossitis. The median glossitis is characterized by frequent recurrences. Fungal infections are the most common cause.


Strictly speaking, folded glossitis is not a disease, but a congenital characteristic.The crack is located in the middle of the tongue, from which the folds depart in both directions. In most cases, such a deviation does not cause unpleasant feelings. But sometimes bacteria can accumulate in the deep folds and cause inflammation.


Inflammation manifests itself in different ways, depending on the individual characteristics of the person and the underlying cause of the disease. Common symptoms include:

  • Uncomfortable sensation in the mouth
  • Discoloration
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Burning or itching
  • Surface changes
  • Changes in the size or shape of the papillae
  • Cracks
  • Difficulties in swallowing
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Grey plaque
  • Difficulty speaking.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Cracks on the tongue are well-studied, usually a visual examination is enough to make a diagnosis. To determine the cause of their appearance, the doctor asks the patient about general diseases. In some cases, a blood test is indicated.

Treatment at the clinic

Before prescribing medications and procedures, it is necessary to find out why fissures occur. After that, a plan is made, which may include:

  • Treatments for general disease
  • Antifungal medications
  • Iron pills
  • Vitamins
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunostimulants
  • Antihistamines

The surface of the tongue is disinfected with antiseptic solutions. Painkillers are used to reduce pain.

In case of mechanical trauma as a result of an unsuccessful prosthesis, it is recommended to replace the construction.

Specialist opinion: Home remedies bring temporary relief, but do not eliminate the cause of the fissures. Inflammatory processes can lead to serious consequences in the form of abscesses and phlegmon. If you have fissures – consult a doctor.

Home remedies

Folk remedies are not able to eliminate the cause of fissures, especially if it is a common disease. In rare cases, the body can defeat the bacterial infection on its own. Therefore, drugs from the home medicine cabinet can be considered only auxiliary. They include:

  • Gargles with decoctions of sage, chamomile
  • Lotions with sea buckthorn or olive oil
  • Propolis
  • Applications of potato juice

Improperly selected folk remedies may reduce the effect of medical treatment. Be sure to consult a doctor.


Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and regular visits to the dentist can help prevent cracks or find them in time. Taking care of your overall health will eliminate the main causes of glossitis. Avoiding smoking, spicy foods, and spicy foods can also help prevent a cracked tongue.

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Dr. R.Mammadli (Dental Expert Team)

Bachelor in biotechnical medicine. Author of several medical blogs, author of articles on dentistry and oral health.