Oral Surgery/Question


QUESTION: Hi Dr Joel. Developed another crack here on tongue other side. Anything concerning? What could cause be?

ANSWER: So the tongue fissures are not abnormal, but because they can catch debris and bacteria, it is important to rinse and keep the fissures gently clean.

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QUESTION: What causes them and what should I rinse with? I never had the one in the pic it's brand new.

ANSWER: Steve - What causes wrinkles?  Repetitive usage.  These repetitive actions, just like smiling, frowning or pursing the lips will produce wrinkles of the skin.  Repetitive actions in the mouth, using the tongue will produce lines like you have.  It could be new from repeated looking in your mouth at your tongue by sticking it out, pulling the tongue to the side or other actions used to get a better look at the tongue.  All of these actions, if done repeatedly can produce fissure lines, line wrinkles of the face.   

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QUESTION: I can assure you that I do not stick out my tongue often or do anything that would suggest overuse. If
You look closely you can see the top layer of tissue missing near where the fissure is. The research suggests that geographic tongue and fissures go hand in hand. Does this remind you of a variation of geographic tongue? Most people think so.

Fissures of the tongue are not uncommon and do occur without episodes of geographic tongue.  I know this because I personally have fissures but do not have episodes of geographic tongue areas.  I have seen many who have both independent of each other and some with both.  So there is no direct link.  Why it occurs is a question that has been hypothetically explained, but no link has been proven.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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