Ask a Dentist

Q: I have cracks in my tongue. Is that normal?

A: Cracks or grooves in the tongue are a characteristic of a fissured or geographic tongue. It’s also called migratory glossitis, scrotal tongue or wandering rash of the tongue. Your doctor or dentist may diagnose you after one look—the appearance is distinct. Strange as it looks, fissured and geographic tongue are widely considered normal tongue patterns.Researchers aren’t sure what causes this condition. The National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD) says genetics may be a factor.Fissured or geographic tongue grooves vary in size and depth from person to person. The pattern of the grooves varies as well: from one groove down the middle to multiple grooves on the sides of the tongue.People with fissured or geographic tongue typically don’t experience negative side effects. You may have moderate sensitivities to hot, cold, or acidic foods. If you notice any lesions or concerning lumps, tell your doctor. Otherwise, you should be okay.