Lingua Plicata

Lingua plicata is a medical term used to describe a condition in which the surface of the tongue develops multiple folds and grooves. These folds, also known as fissures or furrows, can vary in depth and length and can be present on different parts of the tongue.

Lingua plicata is generally considered to be a harmless and benign condition, and most people who have it may not even be aware of it. However, in some cases, the deepening of the fissures can lead to food particles getting trapped and cause discomfort or bad breath.

The exact causes of lingua plicata are not well understood, but it is believed to be a congenital condition that develops in the womb or shortly after birth. It may also occur as a secondary effect of certain medical conditions, such as Down syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome.


Some of the main causes of lingua plicata include:

  1. Genetics: Research has shown that lingua plicata may be hereditary, which means that it can be passed down from parents to their children. This is because the condition has been found to be more common in certain families than others.
  2. Age: As people age, their tongue can become more wrinkled and develop deeper fissures. This is because the connective tissue in the tongue becomes weaker and loses its elasticity over time.
  3. Nutritional deficiencies: Certain vitamin deficiencies, particularly of vitamin B complex and vitamin C, can contribute to the development of lingua plicata. These vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the tongue and other oral tissues.
  4. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, geographic tongue, and Down syndrome, have been linked to the development of lingua plicata.
  5. Oral habits: Certain oral habits, such as tongue thrusting, clenching or grinding of the teeth, and biting the tongue, can cause trauma to the tongue and lead to the development of lingua plicata.

In conclusion, lingua plicata is a condition that can be caused by a combination of genetic, age-related, nutritional, medical, and oral habit factors. While it is not a serious condition and does not usually require treatment, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups to ensure that the condition does not worsen or lead to other complications.


Lingua plicata, also known as “fissured tongue,” is a harmless condition that affects the tongue. The main symptoms of Lingua plicata are:

  1. Fissures or grooves on the surface of the tongue: This is the most common symptom of Lingua plicata. The tongue appears to have deep cracks or grooves on its surface.
  2. Discoloration: The tongue may appear to be discolored, usually darker than its normal color.
  3. Inflammation or soreness: The cracks on the tongue can sometimes lead to inflammation and soreness.
  4. Increased sensitivity: Some people with Lingua plicata may experience increased sensitivity on the tongue, especially when eating or drinking.
  5. Bad breath: The cracks on the tongue can trap bacteria and debris, leading to bad breath.
  6. Altered taste perception: In some cases, Lingua plicata can affect the taste perception, making it difficult to taste certain flavors.

It is important to note that Lingua plicata is not a serious condition, and most people with this condition do not experience any significant symptoms. However, if you experience any discomfort or pain, you should consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.


The diagnosis of lingua plicata is typically based on a clinical examination of the tongue. The healthcare provider will visually inspect the tongue and look for the presence of deep furrows or ridges. In some cases, the healthcare provider may also use a tongue depressor or other tools to get a better view of the tongue.

There is no specific lab test for lingua plicata. However, the healthcare provider may order additional tests to rule out other underlying conditions that could be causing the symptoms. For example, if the patient is experiencing pain or inflammation in the affected areas, the healthcare provider may order a blood test to check for signs of infection or inflammation.

In rare cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis of lingua plicata. During a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is taken from the tongue and examined under a microscope. This can help to rule out other conditions, such as oral cancer or tongue infections.

Overall, the diagnosis of lingua plicata is usually straightforward and can be made based on a clinical examination of the tongue. While there is no specific lab test for this condition, additional tests may be ordered to rule out other underlying conditions that could be causing the symptoms.


The main treatment for this condition is observation and management of symptoms, as there is no cure. However, some treatment options can help relieve discomfort and prevent complications.

  1. Oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to prevent infections and keep the tongue clean. Patients with lingua plicata should brush their teeth and tongue regularly and use mouthwash to kill bacteria.
  2. Tongue scraping: Using a tongue scraper can help remove dead cells and bacteria that accumulate on the tongue. It can also improve breath and reduce inflammation and irritation.
  3. Anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  4. Steroid therapy: If the condition is severe, a doctor may prescribe a short course of steroids to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  5. Surgery: In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the folds on the tongue if they cause severe discomfort or affect speech or swallowing.

It is essential to maintain regular follow-up with a healthcare provider to monitor any changes in the condition and prevent any complications.