General Question

pplufthesun's avatar

Why do people have cracks on/in their tongues even if they didn't split it?

Asked by pplufthesun (607points) June 18th, 2008

why do people have cracks on/in their tongues even if they didn’t split it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

Fissured tongue, also known as scrotal tongue, is a benign condition characterized by deep grooves (fissures) in the dorsum of the tongue. This condition is harmless and no medical intervention is required. Source:

I can’t find a reason anywhere. I’m assuming it occurs naturally or is hereditary (inherited genetically). Maybe someone else can shed some light on this.

richardhenry's avatar

Some people affected [...] report that taking Vitamin B supplements causes the condition to go away temporarily. Same source.

richardhenry's avatar

I’m all out. I can’t find a reliable cause anywhere. Maybe shilolo will know…

shilolo's avatar

I’m not sure what you mean be “cracks”? Do you have a picture or an example of what you mean? The surface of the tongue is uneven naturally due to the presence of papillae (or taste buds). Here is a gross image, and another closer up. Both of these are normal tongues. Is that what you meant?

jlm11f's avatar

hahahhaha. shilolo, i love how you described the picture of a tongue as “gross”. made me laugh :)

shilolo's avatar

PnL, better get used to it ;-) I meant “gross” as in gross anatomy, in contrast to microanatomy…

gailcalled's avatar

@Shilolo; Off-thread: are you ever allowed out of that suit? I get claustrophobic just looking at the avatar. (However, the pic of you and your son on the Fluther interview is adorable….hard to tell which of you wins the Mr. Adorable America cup.)

Really Off-thread: Milo has shunned his expensive toys and plays now only with my former plastic tongue cleaner, and the occasional ant..

shilolo's avatar

I only wear the suit when I am physically handling tuberculosis. We have a very complicated set up, including a special room (with negative pressure so the air gets sucked into the room and through HEPA filters) and special biosafety cabinets where we actually manipulate the bacteria. The suit is for extra protection in case of a spill or accident.

Lightlyseared's avatar

and here’s me sat on a ward surrounded by people with multi drug resistant TB

shilolo's avatar

Not sure I follow you lightlyseared, but the mask does cut off the oxygen to my brain, so…

thebeadholder's avatar

@shilolo: thank you for clearing up the “gross” with PnL. You see, fellow Flutherites, I am probably the only person here who actually has this “phenomenon”. Mine is a geographical, fissure tongue. I read the article and I fall into many of the categories as to why I might have this (including I am half Finnish). I cannot remember if I was born with it or if it happened naturally over time. I think it is somewhat rare (don’t quote me in that) because recently I went to the dentist and the hygienist got all excited and brought over a book to show me my tongue! It is very sensitive to certain foods like some nuts, spicy things, sharp cheeses, tart/sour things. It can be painful, but it is temporary. I’ve never tried vitamin B but I am going to (shout out to richardhenry)!

shilolo's avatar

A tongue is a terrible thing to waste!

Lightlyseared's avatar

Sorry shilolo – boring night shift (the highlight was a bit of hepatic encephalopathy)

madgkul's avatar

You need to look up the ayurvedic tongue chart. It will tell you the many appearances of tongues and y. Including the cracks

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