In most of the cases cracks in tongue, normally appear down the center with very small cracks off the sides, but the look of a cracked tongue can vary basing on the underlying cause. The cracks can also vary in depth or even develop grooves.
In general, a cracked tongue is not much painful, but acidic, hot or more so spicy foods can irritate the tongue, making it to burn or even develop a pins and needles sensation.
The most common tongue condition in the literature is the geographic tongue which is followed by fissured tongue. The fissured tongue is also the most common oral finding amongst the patients with psoriasis.
Other names that are applied to the fissured tongue are the scrotal or plicated tongue. Erythema migrans is usually associated with fissured tongue as well.
If you have a fissured tongue you will observe cracks that appears on the tongue that may be accompanied by the grooves, mouth sores or pain. The cracks can only appear on the tongue rather than on the cheeks or even the gums.
These cracks in tongue can also vary in appearance. They can connect in a grooved pattern, thus separating the tongue into several sections and may also become as deep as 6 millimeters. The tongue can become increasingly sensitive to the spicy foods and then burn when you consume the items.
You may also find that the food will get stuck in the cracks, leading to a bad breath and increasing the risk of developing a bacterial or fungal infection in mouth.
Also, certain medical disorders are associated with the fissuring of the tongue such as Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome (consisting of a triad of components: fissuring and facial nerve palsy), Down syndrome, acromegaly.
Electrolyte imbalances in the saliva and mild hemolytic abnormalities have also been noted. All of the above disease states can be eliminated as possibilities due to the strong clinical characteristics of each.
When fissuring is found together with the geographic tongue, the various balding, concentric rings and unusual patterns may lead to the alarm in patients who normally seek answers from the dental professionals.
The more subtle patterns normally are seen during dental exams, and the health-care provider may offer reassurance to the patient that the condition is much benign. In many cases, the tongue exhibits a central groove with very small grooves radiating from the center line.
Some practitioners view the fissuring of the tongue more as an indication of other underlying issues with the total body.
Around 5 percent of the population in the United States have cracks in tongue. For others, cracks on the tongue can develop during childhood, but in most of the cases you will not develop cracks on the tongue until you are an adult.
Many people discover that they have a cracked tongue as their dentist notices this development during the regular checkups. These cracks can continually become more pronounced as you get older.
Causes of Cracked Tongue
- Injury or Trauma. The tongue can be able to develop fissures if you are constantly brushing the lateral borders or even the dorsal surface of the tongue. Eating or the exposure to a broken tooth can also lead to a constant friction on the tongue that may lead to cracking for fissures.
- Hereditary Cause. Some theorize that hereditary conditions makes some people to be more prone to cracks in tongue, but the theory is not backed by enough study.
- Tongue Abnormalities. Geographic tongue, which is a condition that leads to the filiform papillae of the tongue to disappear and then create bald patches can also increase the risk of developing cracks on the tongue. Hairy tongue, a condition that leads to keratinization and overgrowth on the filiform papillae can lead to staining on the tongue that can be mistaken for cracks in tongue.
- Biotin Deficiency. Biotin is in the B vitamin family and is used by the body to energize the metabolism. If you have a biotin deficiency it can lead to a muscle pain, gray skin, dry skin and fatigue in addition to increasing the risk of a cracking tongue. The doctor can assist to confirm the diagnosis. If you are suffering from a biotin deficiency, then you can increase the intake of cauliflower, chicken and mushrooms so as to correct it.
- Sjogern’s Syndrome. This disorder makes the body to attack its own moisture producing glands which can cause fatigue, joint pain, itching or cracks in tongue. The ultimate cause of the condition is unknown but it is thought that environmental factors and genetics play a very crucial role. Viral or bacterial infections can also increase the risk of developing Sjogren’s syndrome. You cannot cure the condition once it develops but artificial tears and the saliva stimulants can assist to control the symptoms.
- Other Causes. Constantly eating of the spicy food or grinding your teeth can cause cracking of the tongue. Oral thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth that normally accompanies a weakened immune system, can also increase the risk of cracking tongue. In some other cases, conditions may lead to bumps on the tongue or even a swelling that can be mistaken for a cracking tongue.
Cracks in Tongue and Burning
The most common form of injury to the tongue is the tongue biting which is usually accidental in nature. Cracks that form from this kind of harm are shallow and tend to be found around the tip and the sides of the tongue as they are nearer to the teeth.
The cracks are slightly painful to touch. They may also be contributing to sores in the mouth when people take very hot and spicy foods.
Besides tongue bites, cuts is another possible way in which there can be cracks in tongue. More cases of cuts on tongue or in tongue can appear anywhere i.e. under or sides of tongue. Common problems with cuts arise from habits such as eating dry foods with sharp edges, using pointed tools to work on teeth or presence of broken teeth in mouth.
The nature of the cracks in tongue from cuts depends highly on what has brought them. However, if cuts are much severe, they must be very sore. Then this may lead to chronic tongue cracks that take longer period to heal.
Another serious form of injury that may lead to cracks in tongue is a laceration. Lacerations in tongue can range from the deep cuts to tongue tearing. Major causes are head concussions, seizure and other mechanisms that apply great force.
For instance when you have had a head concussion, chances are that the tongue may be caught in between the teeth as the lower jaws can close due to force from the knock of an incoming body.
Eating hot foods could be harming not only the tongue but also the lining of the mouth. If the tongue is much exposed to hot objects or even the food, a lot of discomfort is brought about. Heat can physically cause the delicate mouth lining and tongue to peel.
After peeling has occurred, it becomes very vulnerable to infections, be it fungi or even bacteria that quickly multiply in mouth and around lips.
Cracks in Tongue Vitamin Deficiency
Vitamins are very crucial and a crucial part of the body’s nutrition. For example, the vitamin B family nutrients are applied by the body so as to synthesize fat and also boost metabolism.
- Riboflavin Deficiency or Ariboflavinosis
As an important vitamin in nutrition, it assists in uptake of other yet essential vitamins such as B-6, folate, Iron and also niacin. An indication that will show that it is too little in the body include swelling or soreness, cracks in tongue and cracked skin around the corners of the mouth. A swollen tongue can trigger cracking if irritated or inflamed.
In addition, it is crucial to take food and other supplies that contains riboflavin but too much of it has bad sides. For instance, high concentrations of riboflavin can increase risks of getting kidney stones, sensitivity to light and prickling or even burning of the skin. Natural supplies which should be taken therefore are as follows:
- Green vegetables especially dark-green ones,
- Protein-rich foods such as fish and poultry.
- Closed packed dairy products e.g. milk and yoghurt.
- Folic acid
Also known as vitamin B-9, it can be another reason why there may happen tongue cracks. As mentioned in earlier, sores on tongue may aggravate the condition of the already existing and speed up the formation of cracks in tongue.
This is a very crucial nutrition component for the women during the pregnancy period. It is also meant for breastfeeding mothers and all other adults in the productivity stage. There are a wide range for those searching for food sources that have a rich source of folic acid. They are root vegetables like the tulips, salmon milk not forgetting whole grains.
As another group member of vitamin B-family, a deficiency in biotin is likely to lead to paleness, fatigue and anyone can be a victim and risk of cracking tongue or the fissures in tongue
A fissured tongue, also known as lingua plicata or scrotal tongue can have cracks, grooves and also fissures. This condition is normally harmless, but should be checked by a doctor or dentist to make sure.
A fissured tongue can have:
- Cracks, grooves or even clefts that appear on the top and sides of the tongue.
- These fissures only affect the tongue.
- Fissures on the tongue vary in depth, but they may be as deep as about 5mm.
- Grooves can also connect with other grooves that separating the tongue into small lobes or sections.
Unless debris builds up in the fissures, an individual is unlikely to have any symptoms.
Fissures can first appear during childhood. However, fissures are very common in adults. Just as wrinkles might deepen with age, fissures also become more pronounced as you get much older. If you have very regular dental check-ups, the dentist can be able to identify the fissures on the tongue. This is how most fissures are found.
Up to about 6% of people have a fissured tongue to some extent. A fissured tongue can affect men slightly more than women.
Because a fissured tongue can cluster in several families, it can be genetically inherited. Although other causes of the fissured tongue are not established, it can appear along with other conditions like;
- Geographic tongue, also known as benign migratory Glossitis. This benign condition normally shows up along with the fissured tongue. It can lead to no symptoms other than sensitivity to hot and spicy foods.
- Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. This is a very rare condition. It not only leads to a fissured tongue, but also lip or even facial swelling and paralysis in the face that may come and go.
- Down’s syndrome. Fissured tongue happens in as many as eight out of 15 children with the chromosomal disorder Down’s syndrome.
It is not very common to require a biopsy of a fissured tongue.
Cracks in Tongue Diagnosis
Cracks in tongue can be an irritation that passes with time, or you can also experience it throughout your life with no pain. But it can as well be an indicator of a far more serious condition, like the diabetes or cancer. Ideally, if you have a cracked tongue, then you should visit the doctor or even an ear, nose and throat practitioner that will give you a diagnosis.
Treatments for Cracked Tongue
- Leave it Alone. Many cases of cracked tongue do not need any treatment, especially if it is not leading to any discomfort.
- Keep Dental Hygiene. Regularly brushing the tongue or even using a tongue cleaner will assist you keep food out of the cracks so microorganisms do not grow and lead to an infection.
- Stopping Pain. If the cracks in tongue is causing you pain there are a few things you can do to manage the discomfort. Keep the tongue much hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Some have found out that spearmint can assist to heal cracks in tongue and neutralize the pain. If consuming spicy foods leads to the cracked tongue to burn, place a bit of baking soda on the uncomfortable area.
- See a Doctor. If the cracks in tongue are making you uncomfortable than you should talk to a dentist to ensure to determine if there is a way to control the discomfort. You should also speak to the doctor if it appears that the cracks on the tongue have begun to swell as this could be a sign of a very serious ailment like tongue cancer.
Home Remedies for Sore & Cracked Tongue
You can utilize the following:
- Ice to treat sore tongue
- The ice gives cooling effect to the tongue and lessen the irritation.
How to use it?
Use some ice on the tongue directly. It reduces the burning sensation in the tongue as well as the pain in the tongue.
2. Toothpaste to cure cracked tongue
Chemicals that are used in the toothpaste especially a little amount of alcohol. The toothpaste can scrape the tongue and then kill the yeast, fungus as well as the bacteria available on the tongue which brought about cracks in tongue.
Sometimes cracked tongue is due to anaerobic bacteria. Using toothpaste gives the bacteria oxygenated environment. Thus, killing the bacteria and tongue returns backs to its normal state.
How to use it?
- Apply the toothpaste about twice on tongue daily to get rid of cracked tongue.
3. Try Margosa leaves as a herbal treatment
Margosa tree is much useful herbal and medicinal plant. Each and every part like bark, flower and even roots of the plant is a very crucial medicine. It’s none other than neem as it is normally called. Being a multipurpose medicine, it is very healthy for the immune system too.
How to use it?
Take about 15 leaves of Neem. Wash them well and then crush them and make a paste of it, then brush using the paste twice a day, as it contains anti-bacterial property along with the cracked tongue, it also prevents you from bad breath and other dental problems too.
4. Garlic and ginger gargling to kill bacteria
Garlic and Ginger both contains great importance in building of a healthy immune system. Garlic and Ginger both contains anti-bacterial and anti- viral properties that kill the bacteria present on the tongue which are leading to cracks in tongue and provides the painful and burning sensation of the tongue. Water of Garlic and Ginger are used for gargling so as to treat cracks in tongue.
How to use it?
Take an onion and almost five cloves of garlic, crush them and make a thick paste of it, then add the paste to a glass full of water. Gargle it at least twice a day, this will assist you to fight with bacteria that are available on the tongue which stop you to eat spicy food.
5. Lavender oil for relief from burning sensation
Lavender oil is a natural complex mixture of the naturally occurring phytochemicals that includes Linalool and linalyl acetate. The best lavender oil that can be used is the Kashmir lavender oil as it is developed from the lavenders of the foothills of Himalayas.
How to use it?
Lavender oil that is applied directly to the tongue can provide relief from the burning sensations of the tongue and painful sensations also. Lavender oil is important to lesions and even better for all the dental problems