What is a Fissured Tongue?

Also known as either plicated tongue or scrotal tongue, fissured tongue is a condition estimated to affect between 2% and 5% of Americans. This condition comes in the form of rose of grooves that run across the top and sides of your tongue, possibly as deep as six millimeters. People with fissured tongue generally develop the condition in adulthood, though the grooves will occasionally appear in childhood and grow deeper with age.

If you experience fissured tongue, don’t worry; it’s a generally harmless genetic trait that does not require treatment. However, it may be wise for you to take particular care in scraping your tongue every day. The deep grooves in your tongue are slightly more likely to trap bits of food and allow harmful oral bacteria to thrive, causing irritation or encouraging tooth decay and gingivitis.

When you think that you may have fissured tongue, it’s best not to diagnose yourself. Whenever you notice any changes or anomalies on your tongue or in your mouth, be sure to consult your dentist to confirm that it’s nothing harmful.