Written by Lisa Allen, MD
There is noting that draws quite the attention than to have chapped or cracked tongue and tongue fissures.
Most people get to notice that a person’s tongue is cracked at the very first instance and it is best advised to have them attended to in case fissures and cracks do make their presence known.
There is more to a damaged tongue than people would know. In a number of instances it tells for all to see the internal functions of a person’s body. The tongue is a window to the digestive system and deformed tongue is a first sign that everything is not in order.
Typical Characteristic Of A Chapped Tongue
It is the most noted feature of a cracked tongue to have a fissure run right through the middle. There could be smaller branched fissures that lead out from the big fissure in the form of branches. In addition to the cracked tongue it is important that the following points are noted as well.
- The damage is resstricted to only the tongue and not any where else on the body.
- The crack does create pain and sorenes like pin pricks especially when food is eaten.
- Spicy food would create a sensation of burning that runs deep in the tongue.
- The tongue would appear red right through out.
Reasons For Cracked Tongue And Tongue Fissures
A cracked tongue primarily tells out the state of a person’s health. It is a good indicator of the digestive system and coupled with additional signs can give a good picture of the system. It is also possible that the fissures and cuts are identified with certain patterns that indicate the condition of the body. It is a good thing to consult a doctor as soon as the fissures and cracks are noticed on the tongue and not to wait any longer. This not only gives the doctor more time to work on a person and also that the condition could not have got worse.
Geographic Tongue: This is when the most part of the tongue is covered by a pinkish white coloring that appears to be in clumps. These are papillae. The patterns are not set and could appear to move with time. This is the attack and remission that occurs with time. It is extremely painful experience when brought in contact with spicy food and food of acidic nature.
Vitamin Deficiency: Most ailments of the mouth are usually associate with deficiency of vitamins and minerals. In most instances, the exact deficiency would be hard to identify. Most physicians would apply a general set of vitamin and mineral tablets that should normally be able to set right the condition.
Greater Significance Of A Cracked Tongue
The significance of a cracked tongue is more than just the physical appearance of the body part. Very serious conditions of the digestive system can manifest itself in the form of cracks on the tongue. This could well be the telltale signs that there could be more serious matters that are hidden from outside view.
It is a good thing to have a whole body general check up in case cracks are noticed on the outer surface of the tongue. There are scans and tests that bring to notice any malfunction or dysfunctions that were to have taken place. It should be taken as a start and not as an end phenomenon.
The Possible Conditions That Start Out As A Cracked Tongue
There are a number of ready causes that a cracked tongue throws up. Most often there could be some common underlying causes that would need treatment.
Tongue Cancer: This could well be the first condition that a tongue with patches signify. It is best advised to have a sample analyzed and biopsy done. Mostly the early signs of cancer of the tongue are red lumps that are formed on the outer surface of the member.
Down Syndrome: The primary give away of a child with Down syndrome is a cracked tongue. This is particularly important as in young children below the age of five there could be very little else that would give away this condition. So when young toddlers are handled, a cracked tongue must cause bells to ring as to the possibilities to this condition. This could be at times the only sign of the syndrome till about end of childhood.
Alcohol Or Tobacco Use: It is often seen with habitual users of alcohol and tobacco that they do have a tongue that has fissures and cracks. Surprisingly the tongue is a muscular body that take a fair bit of punishment and to develop cracks and fissures relate to the very extreme shock given to the body part. In cultures that use chewing tobacco of some form or the other, the onset of cracked tongue is much faster.
Extreme Dehydration: With people that have been extremely dehydrated and often performing extreme activities like adventure sports without taking in sufficient water, the tongue does get to be lacerated. This is a very reversible condition that would reverse itself once the stress is relieved and proper hydration attempted.
How Is A Cracked Tongue Handled?
Dental Hygiene: It is usually seen that people following good dental hygiene would get to recover quickly from a chapped tongue than others. Thus the first step is to have the person follow good dental hygiene with regular antiseptic mouth gargles. If need be the use of medicated water could be used for the gargles.
Water: Copious and abundant water must be given to the person. It is important that the person is rehydrated in quick time and also the water is retained by the body.
Diet: That a good and proper diet is a must for someone with chapped and cracked tongue. The vitamins and minerals in the diet are as important as any medication to set right the condition. Often people in their rush to meet deadlines and time schedules fail to maintain a balanced diet and this could well start of the cracked tongue.