TABLE 523 Findings In or Under the Tongue

Tongue Cancer

Fissured Tongue

Fissures may appear in the tongue with increasing age. Their appearance has led to the alternate term, scrotal tongue. Although food debris may accumulate in the crevices and become irritating, a fissured tongue usually has little significance.

Hairy Tongue

The "hair" of hairy tongue consists of elongated papillae on the dorsum of the tongue, and is yellowish to brown or black. Hairy tongue may follow antibiotic therapy but may also occur spontaneously, without known cause. It is harmless.

Geographic Tongue

The dorsum of a geographic tongue shows scattered smooth red areas that are denuded of papillae. Together with the normal rough and coated areas, they give a maplike pattern that changes over time. Of unknown cause, the condition is benign.

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