Doctors are not certain what causes fissured tongue. However, there may be a genetic link that means certain people are more likely to develop it.
One article published in Allied Academics looked at the frequency of fissured tongue in people in South Africa and Israel. In South Africa, only 0.6% of the population had fissured tongue, compared to nearly 30.6% of the people in Israel. Researchers believe that this could be evidence of a genetic factor.
However, the study in South Africa involved children and, therefore, does not reflect the entire population. However, the idea that a genetic component may play a role in fissured tongue development remains a possibility.
Fissured tongue often first appears in childhood. However, the condition typically becomes more pronounced as the person ages.
Fissured tongue may have links to other conditions, including:
- geographic tongue
- orofacial granulomatosis
- Down syndrome
- pustular psoriasis
- Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome (a neurological condition associated with facial paralysis and swelling of the upper lip and face)
Malnutrition may also cause fissured tongue to occur. But this is less common.
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