A geographic tongue can be sometimes confused for oral thrush. The main reason is because of the white coating on the tongue. Oral thrush is a condition in which the candida fungus accumulates on the lining of your mouth.
The difference is that oral thrush creates creamy white lesions that usually show up on your tongue or inner cheeks. The lesions can be painful at times and may bleed slightly when you try to scrape them off your tongue.
A dentist can diagnose if is thrush by examining your mouth. The dentist will look for the distinctive white lesions in the mouth, tongue, or cheeks. By lightly brushing the lesions away, it reveals a reddened, tender area that may bleed slightly.
Thrush has also been know to spread into the esophagus and may require other tests to make a better diagnosis. These test sometimes include taking a throat culture. A throat culture is when they swab the back of the throat and study the microorganisms under a microscope. Another is performing an endoscopy of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, or taking X rays of the esophagus.
Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it’s more likely to occur in infants and people who wear dentures, use inhaled corticosteroids or have compromised immune systems.
People with diabetes and high blood sugar levels are more likely to get thrush in the mouth because the extra sugar in your saliva acts like food for candida . People who take high doses of antibiotics or taking antibiotics for a long period of time increases their chances of acquiring oral thrush. The problem with antibiotics is that it kills some of the healthy bacteria that prevents the overgrowth of candida in the body .
A geographic tongue as mentioned in our previous post appear as small patches that disappear and reappear within a short period of time that usually ranges from hours to days. These patches will change in shape and sizes appearing like a geographic map.
The A.K.A’s of a Geographic Tongue
Here is a list of different names for geographic tongue:
-benign migratory glossitis
-oral erythema migrans
-glossitis areata exfoliativa
-glossitis areata migrans
-transitory benign plaques of the tongue
-stomatitis areata migrans
Here’s an interesting video from the Dr. Oz show
What I found interesting about this video is how easy it is to make a wrong self diagnosis when something appears on your tongue or on any other part of your body. I’ve been guilty of doing the same thing(specially when my geographic tongue became noticeable) in the past that turned out to be something completely different.
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