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Home Dentist Tongue Cracks: Causes and Treatment for Fissured Tongue

Tongue Cracks: Causes and Treatment for Fissured Tongue

Tongue Cracks: Causes and Treatment for Fissured Tongue

A healthy tongue is usually smooth, but it can develop grooves and cracks for some people. This condition, known as fissured tongue, can cause concern, though it is generally harmless. In this blog, we will explore the causes of a fissured tongue, potential treatments, and when to consider seeing a dentist. Additionally, we will answer some FAQs to understand this condition comprehensively. 

What is a Fissured Tongue?

A fissured tongue, sometimes called a cracked tongue, is a benign condition characterized by deep grooves or fissures on the tongue’s surface. These grooves can vary in depth and often branch out from a central fissure. While it may look alarming, a fissured tongue is usually painless and doesn’t cause significant health issues.

 Causes of Fissured Tongue

The exact cause of a fissured tongue isn’t entirely understood, but several factors may contribute to its development:

  1.   Genetics: Tongue Crack often runs in families, suggesting a hereditary component. If your parents or siblings have a fissured tongue, you will likely develop it.
  2.   Age: The condition tends to become more pronounced with age. As we grow older, the grooves in the tongue can become more noticeable.
  3.   Health Conditions: Certain conditions, such as Sjögren’s and Down syndrome, have been linked to a fissured tongue. People with geographic tongue, a condition where patches on the tongue change shape and color, are also more likely to have cracked tongues.
  4.   Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of specific vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B12 and iron, can contribute to fissured tongue development.
  5.   Oral Habits: Certain oral habits, such as tongue thrusting or bruxism (teeth grinding), might exacerbate the formation of tongue cracks.

A few causes are:

  •         Tobacco
  •         Underlying Health Issues
  •         Malnutrition
  •         Acid Reflux or General Indigestion
  •         Geographic Tongue
  •         Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome
  •         Pustular Psoriasis
  •         Poor Oral Hygiene, Other Causes

Symptoms of Fissured Tongue

The primary symptom of a fissured tongue is the presence of one or more grooves or cracks on the top surface of the tongue. These fissures can vary in size and depth. Most people with a cracked tongue do not experience pain or discomfort. However, if food particles and debris get trapped in the grooves, it can lead to bad breath or irritation.

What Is The Difference Between Cracks and Cuts on the Tongue?

When people mention cuts on their tongue, they often refer to cracks characteristic of a fissured tongue. The grooves and fissures from a fissured tongue can resemble and feel like minor cuts, but they are not true lacerations. These cracks are usually the result of a fissured tongue or a geographic tongue.

In a healthy state, your tongue should be pink and moist, covered with tiny mucous membranes called papillae. Some papillae contain taste buds, while others assist with everyday activities like speaking and gripping food.

A fissured tongue occurs when there is irregular growth or loss of papillae, leading to the formation of grooves. This condition can sometimes cause inflammation, pain, and sensitivity.

Treatment for Fissured Tongue

While a fissured tongue is usually harmless and doesn’t require treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene can help manage the condition and prevent complications:

  1.   Regular Brushing and Flossing: Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating the tongue.
  2.   Tongue Cleaning: Gently clean your tongue with a scraper or the back of your toothbrush to remove debris from the fissures.
  3.   Hydration: Staying well-hydrated can help keep your mouth moist and reduce the likelihood of irritation or infection.
  4.   Address Nutritional Deficiencies: Ensure you get adequate vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B12 and iron. Consider taking supplements if necessary, but consult with a healthcare professional first.
  5.   Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. They can monitor your condition and provide specific recommendations based on your oral health.

 When to See a Dentist?

While a fissured tongue is typically harmless, there are times when you should seek professional advice:

  •         If you experience persistent pain or discomfort.
  •         If you notice signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, or pus.
  •         If your fissured tongue is accompanied by other symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing or changes in taste.


A fissured tongue, or cracked tongue, can be a curious and sometimes concerning condition, but it is usually harmless. You can manage the condition by maintaining good oral hygiene and addressing any underlying health issues. If you have any concerns about your tongue’s appearance or health, don’t hesitate to consult with a dental professional.  At Northeast View Dental, we are committed to providing comprehensive oral care. If you have questions or need an appointment, contact us today. Your oral health is our priority.


Q: Is A Fissured Tongue Contagious?

No, a cracked tongue is not contagious. It is a benign condition often related to genetics or other non-infectious factors.

Q: Can A Fissured Tongue Heal On Its Own?

While the grooves in a fissured tongue may become less noticeable with proper oral hygiene, the condition is generally permanent.

Q: Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid If I Have A Fissured Tongue?

It’s best to avoid spicy or acidic foods that irritate your tongue’s grooves. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can also be beneficial.

Q: Can A Fissured Tongue Be A Sign Of A More Serious Condition?

A fissured tongue can sometimes be associated with underlying health conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome or nutritional deficiencies. If you have concerns, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional.

By Following These Guidelines And Seeking Professional Advice When Necessary, You Can Ensure Your Oral Health Remains In Top Condition. Remember, At Northeast View Dental, We’re Here To Help You With All Your Dental Needs.