Cracks on Tongue: 5 main Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

    Cracks on tongue are typically a minor symptom of something else. They can be symptoms of an underlying health condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated, such as a fungal infection or chronic acid reflux.

     According to a survey of The American Academy of Oral Medicine almost 5% of US population suffer from the condition of cracks on tongue. 

    Cracks on tongue are typically small fissures in the tongue that appear through a hole in the center of the tongue. They usually appear on the edges of the tongue, but cracks on tongue can also develop throughout the entire tongue surface.

    What are Tongue Cracks?

     Cracks on Tongue can be a very annoying and sometimes painful condition. The cracks can make it difficult to eat, drink, or talk. There are many different causes of cracks on tongue, including dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, mouth injuries, and certain medical conditions. 

    The condition of Cracks on tongue is often referred as fissured tongue, that has one or more grooves on its surface. They might have shallow or deep grooves. The major fissure often develops in the base of the tongue. Sometimes the cracks are broad and deep, giving the tongue the appearance of being divided into parts. The tongue could also appear to be cracked.

    Treatment options vary depending on the cause but may include topical treatments, oral medications, and in some cases surgery. 

    Certain medical conditions can also cause cracks on tongue. Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders can all lead to a dry mouth

    What causes Cracks on Tongue?

    There are a few different things that can cause cracks on tongue. Most often, it’s because of dehydration or a vitamin deficiency. It can also be the result of mouth breathing, smoking, or using certain medications.

    Dehydration is the most common cause of cracks on tongue. When your body doesn’t have enough fluids, it starts to pull moisture from your mucous membranes. This includes your tongue. The lack of moisture can make your tongue cracked and dry.

    A vitamin deficiency can also lead to cracks on tongue. Vitamins B2 and B3 help keep your mucous membranes healthy. If you’re not getting enough of these vitamins in your diet, it can lead to a dry and cracked tongue.

    crack on tangue

    Mouth breathing is another common cause of cracks on tongue. When you breathe through your mouth, it dries out the inside of your mouth and can lead to a cracked tongue.

    Smoking is also a common cause of tongue cracks. The nicotine in cigarettes dries out your mouth and damages the tissue in your mucous membranes. This can leave your tongue feeling dry and cracked.

    Certain medications can also cause your cracks on tongue. These include diuretics, antihistamines, and decongestants. If you’re taking any of these medications, talk to your doctor about possible side effects. 

    Some older studies also suggest that cracks on tongue can be a genetic condition and can transfer from one generation to another.  

    If you have cracks on tongue, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Dehydration and vitamin deficiencies can be treated with fluids and supplements. If your tongue cracks are due to mouth breathing or smoking, your doctor may recommend you stop these habits.

    Symptoms of cracks on tongue 

    There are a few different symptoms that can be indicative of cracks on tongue, and it is important to be aware of these in order to seek treatment. 

    • One of the most common symptoms is discomfort when eating or drinking, as the cracks on tongue can make it painful to swallow.
    • In some cases, the cracks on tongue may also bleed. 
    • You may notice that your tongue feels dry or rough, 
    • Talking or moving your tongue causes pain. 

    If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor or dentist so that they can determine the cause of your cracks on tongue and recommend you treatment options accordingly.

    Complications Associated with cracks on Tongue

    In the grooves of a fractured tongue, bacteria or fungus, such as Candida albicans, can flourish and causing illness.

    A doctor may suggest a topical antifungal drug in the event of a Candida, or yeast, infection. People with geographic tongue and those who neglect to brush or otherwise care for their tongues are more likely to contract this type of infection.

    Anyone who has a cracked tongue should practice proper dental hygiene, which includes going to the dentist on a regular basis. 

    Treatment Option for Cracks on Tongue 

    Treatment is not necessary sometimes for cracks on tongue, because in some cases the only noticeable symptom is the tongue’s distinctive look, which is common.

    There are a few different types of treatment for cracks on tongue. Depending on the severity of the crack, your doctor may recommend one or a combination of these treatments.

    Minor cracks on tongue can often be treated at home with simple self-care measures. This includes drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding spicy or acidic foods, and using a lip balm or petroleum jelly to keep the area moist. You can also try sucking on ice chips or taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to help relieve pain and inflammation.

    If your cracks on tongue are more severe, your doctor may recommend oral antibiotics to help clear any infection and promote healing. They may also prescribe a medicated mouthwash to help soothe the pain and speed up healing. In some cases, they may even recommend surgery to close the crack.

    How to prevent Tongue Cracks

    Tongue cracks can be a painful and unsightly problem. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent them.

    First, it’s important to keep your mouth hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and avoid dehydration by staying away from diuretics like caffeine and alcohol.

    Secondly, use a lip balm or moisturizer on your lips to prevent them from becoming dry and cracked. A quality product will help to soothe and protect your lips from the elements.

    Finally, try to avoid chewing on hard objects like ice or candy. This can damage the delicate tissue of your tongue, making it more susceptible to cracking. If you must chew on something hard, be sure to do so gently.


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