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What causes fissures in tongue

By Anonymous August 30, 2017 - 10:30pm
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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER.

Fissured tongue is a benign condition affecting the top surface of the tongue. A normal tongue is relatively flat across its length. A fissured tongue is marked by a deep, prominent groove in the middle. There may also be small furrows or fissures across the surface, causing the tongue to have a wrinkled appearance. There may be one or more fissures of varying sizes and depths.

Fissured tongue occurs in approximately 5 percent of Americans. It may be evident at birth or develop during childhood. The exact cause of fissured tongue isn’t known. However, researchers believe it may occur as a result of an underlying syndrome or condition, such as malnutrition, infection, or Down syndrome. Since fissured tongue is often seen in families, the condition may also be genetic. It is seen more often in men than in women. The frequency and severity of fissured tongue also appears to increase with age.

Fissured tongue is also associated with certain syndromes, particularly Down syndrome and Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. Down syndrome, also called trisomy 21, is a genetic condition that can cause a variety of physical and mental impairments. Those with Down syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two.

Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a neurological condition characterized by a fissured tongue, swelling of the face and upper lip, and Bell’s palsy, which is a form of facial paralysis.


August 31, 2017 - 8:27am
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