Geographic Tongue

Geographic Tongue.Geographic tongue is characterized by harmless lesions, or patches, that can suddenly materialize on the tongue's top surface. The condition gets its name from the physical appearance of the lesions, which resemble smooth, red islands, possibly rimmed with white. Their smoothness comes from the absence of the tiny bumps or “papillae” that normally cover the entire surface of the tongue. These variations in color and texture give the whole tongue a map-like appearance.

The pattern on the tongue can change daily as the lesions appear to move or migrate, healing in one spot only to reappear in another. That's why the medical term for this condition is benign migratory glossitis. It's scary looking, but does not compromise a person's health.

Discomfort from the condition can sometimes be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers; mouthrinses containing anesthetics, antihistamines, or steroids; and by avoiding certain irritants such as tobacco, alcohol, and foods that are spicy, salty or acidic.

No one knows exactly what causes geographic tongue. Some factors that may play a role include vitamin B deficiency, irritation from alcohol or spicy foods, and genetics.

This condition can be diagnosed simply by examining your tongue; laboratory tests are usually not necessary. Geographic tongue normally resolves on its own, but a dental professional should be consulted if you notice any changes in your tongue's appearance.

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Our Regular Schedule

Lunch Hours: 1:00 - 2:00pm

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "I have been seeing Dr. Pettit and Jeanie for over 15 years and they make going to the dentist a great experience. Even when I moved away from their office, I still make the drive since they are so warm and professional. They are very personable but also efficient and experienced. I highly recommend Dr. Pettit’s office and when my parents moved to Utah, I got them to go there as well."
  • "My husband and I have been going to Dr. Pettit for years. He is very attentive to your needs and concerns. He keeps up with the latest technologies and will thoroughly discuss the treatment plan with you.
    His office is small, which gives it a calm and personable feel. His office staff is friendly and makes us feel like family.
    I honestly don't know what I'd do if I had to find another dentist."
  • "I will start off by saying that I do not like going to the dentist! But going to Dr. Pettit made me change my thoughts and made my experience enjoyable and fun! They have a great environment and a great staff! Jeanie is awesome and fun to work with! They make you feel welcome and make your time there go by quick! I’ll definitely be getting my annual checkups done because of them!"
  • "Amazing dentist and team. Dr. Pettit made sure to meet all my needs regarding being nervous and was happy to answer any questions I had about my procedures. He wants to make all patients feel comfortable which is great. Jeanie, the dental hygienist, is a sweet lady and is happy to help as well. Becky, the office lady, is also very kind and always happy to help with anything she can! Their dental assistant Melissa is also so kind. Great dentist, 100% recommend if you’re a nervous patient or just need a nice dentist office!"