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Cracks in the middle, at the tip, at the edges of the tongue in adults and children: what does this mean and how to treat

Language often reflects many problems inside the body. Normally, it should be clean and pink - and this indicates that the health of a person is all right. Plaque, and even more so, cracks in the language - this is the first "bell" about the malfunctioning of the internal organs. Therefore, often with the appearance of cracks, not only and not so much the tongue is treated, but the whole organism.


Precise statistics regarding the frequency of the formation of cracks in the language is not maintained. However, there is information that about 25% of all painful sensations in the oral cavity are caused by cracks.

Cracks in the tongue often affect people after 40 years, or small children.

This pathology practically never develops independently, but accompanies other painful conditions: allergies (in 60% of cases), diseases of the digestive system (in 60% of cases), metabolic diseases (in 30% of cases), dental problems (in 50% of cases) , anemia and vitamin deficiency (in 20% of cases).

Causes of the cracks in the tongue

Cracks in the language can be the result of many reasons, and among them:

  • diseases of the digestive system;
  • blood diseases;
  • violation of the central nervous system;
  • helminthiases;
  • hormonal failures;
  • shortage of vitamins;
  • problems in the oral cavity.

Often, one patient may have several causes of cracks at the same time. For example, the presence of helminths in the intestine can cause beriberi and anemia, and liver or digestive diseases lead to a disruption in the assimilation of most substances necessary for the body.

Of course, cracks in the language are not always the result of internal organ damage. They can also appear against the background of inflammation in the oral cavity. In many patients, cracks are a manifestation of syphilis or lichen, or an allergic reaction.

Risk factors

A large number of factors are known that can give rise to the formation of cracks in the language:

  • dental problems;
  • chronic disorders in internal organs;
  • metabolic disorders (diabetes mellitus, obesity);
  • frequent stresses and fears;
  • non-observance of personal hygiene, incorrect and insufficient care of the oral cavity.


A large number of patients with cracks in the tongue are subsequently diagnosed with a "glossitis" inflammatory reaction in the tissues of the tongue. In addition to cracks, glossitis shows whitish spots in the form of a thin coating. The patient thus complains of the feeling of "goose bumps" in the area of the tongue, for burning and even pain.

  • A tongue with cracks from birth is called folded glossitis - it is a congenital defect, which usually does not respond to treatment, but does not require it.
  • Cracks in the tongue that appeared throughout life - this is a clear sign of any violation: the oral cavity, digestive organs, urinary organs, endocrine system, immunity disorders.

What specific disease led to the formation of cracks in the tongue, will show the diagnosis. Without it, no practicing doctor will take the final diagnosis.

Symptoms of the cracks in the tongue

Symptoms of cracks in the language are in most cases specific. It is dryness of the mucosa in the oral cavity, a burning sensation in the affected areas of the tongue, pain, swelling.

Small patient cracks the patient himself may not notice. But deep damage can not be noticed almost impossible: they are perfectly visible to the naked eye, they can be single or multiple, longitudinal or transverse. Deep cracks are often accompanied by inflammation, which is accompanied by redness and swelling of the tongue.

The first signs - cracks in the tongue - can be combined with other symptoms that are characteristic of various diseases.

  • A tongue with cracks from birth can be observed in children who have a hereditary predisposition to such a change. Usually, this phenomenon is simply a feature of the body and does not require treatment: it is called a folded tongue syndrome.
  • A crack in the middle of the tongue is observed most often, and indicates a weakness in human immunity. If we consider a crack in the middle, as a symptom of the disease, then such a sign often takes place with a rhomboid and folded glossitis - inflammation of the tongue.
  • Plaque and cracks in the tongue at the sides may indicate liver or / and gallbladder disease. This symptom often accompanies anemia, thyroid disease and digestive organs. If in addition at the edges of the tongue there are traces of the dentition, this indicates the swelling of the organ.
  • Cracks on the tip of the tongue in many cases indicate a burn or stomatitis, or a violation in the work of the nervous system. Often the tip of the tongue becomes covered with cracks after severe stressful situations or depressions.
  • If the tongue hurts and the cracks in the tongue are located chaotically, then this can be a symptom of a chronic bowel disease. And if you have thirst and dry mouth, you can assume the disease of the endocrine system.
  • Cracks in the tongue and burning are observed in all types of glossitis - desquamative, rhomboid, villous, scrotal, interstitial. Particularly pronounced is burning if the cracks are deep.
  • Red tongue with cracks is a sure sign of the Hunter glossitis. The tongue is unusually smooth and shiny, the papillae are flat, and the color of the anterior surface is red with a crimson hue. This disease develops due to lack of vitamins.
  • Spots and cracks in the tongue accompany the diseases of the digestive system, helminthiases, disorders of metabolic processes. If the stains outwardly resemble lines, then they speak of the so-called "geographical language", which is a typical sign of desquamative glossitis.
  • Cracks and sores in the tongue is a clear sign of stomatitis, the most common disease of the oral mucosa. Stomatitis can occur on its own, or be a complication of other diseases.
  • A loose tongue with cracks can often be seen in patients prone to nervous disorders. Such people usually suffer from depression and insomnia, experiencing a lot of stress. A loose tongue for chronic fatigue syndrome is very characteristic.
  • Dryness and cracks in the tongue in many cases indicate a disorder in the endocrine system. Such signs accompany thyroid gland diseases, diabetes mellitus and other similar pathologies.
  • If cracks in the tongue bleed, then this is a clear symptom, indicating a weakening of immunity and a lack of vitamins in the body. Such cracks poorly give in to treatment, if not to eliminate the main cause of the disease - avitaminosis.
  • Yellow coating and cracks in the tongue are observed against a background of liver and bile duct diseases (dyskinesia, calculous cholecystitis), chronic pancreatitis, gastroduodenitis. In addition, this symptom can be produced simply by a malicious smoker who smokes more than one pack of cigarettes every day.

Cracks in the tongue during pregnancy

Pregnancy is the natural physiological period in a woman's life. However, it must be borne in mind that during all nine months the future mother shares with her child all the necessary substances, including vitamins, as well as immune protection - antibodies. As a result, a pregnant woman can develop hypovitaminosis, anemia. Due to the pressure exerted by the growing uterus on the digestive organs and the liver, gastrointestinal diseases and circulatory disorders may occur. In addition, the female body experiences hormonal changes, immune forces weaken.

All these factors can affect the development of a pathological condition such as cracks in the tongue: it can proceed both along with the inflammatory process and without it.

To prevent such a complication, during the entire period of pregnancy, it is necessary to carefully monitor the health indicators of a woman and not to allow border conditions - anemia, hypovitaminosis, etc.

Complications and consequences

Under no circumstances should one ignore such a feature as cracks in the language. Treatment should begin and be done on time, because otherwise complications may occur. For example, inflammation can spread to the gums, tonsils, oral mucosa. It is not excluded the development of abscesses, which are treated only surgically.

Such root causes of cracks, like anemia and beriberi, can lead to other painful symptoms:

  • dryness and flaking of the skin;
  • dizziness;
  • headache;
  • deterioration of the hair and nails;
  • impairment of vision;
  • fragility of capillaries.

Diagnostics of the cracks in the tongue

Any diagnostics doctor will start with a survey and examination of the patient, with an assessment of his complaints. Additional questions will help to discover new signs of pathology, which the patient himself has not previously paid attention to.

In addition, the health status of a person as a whole, as well as the presence of risk factors, are assessed.

Auxiliary diagnostic methods will help to characterize the general state of the organism and find the true cause of the appearance of cracks in the tongue.

  • Laboratory tests are considered mandatory for any cracks in the language:
  1. a general blood test - allows you to assess the state of immunity, determine the presence of inflammation and anemia;
  2. biochemistry of blood - makes it possible to evaluate the function of the liver and kidneys, to determine a number of other pathological conditions in the body (in particular, autoimmune);
  3. blood test for HIV, RW and TORCH infections;
  4. koprogramma - study of feces for the presence of worms and dysbiosis.
  • Instrumental diagnosis is considered to be very important for the diagnosis:
  1. Bacause of the smear taken from the surface of the tongue, allows to identify the pathogen of the inflammatory process and to determine the further therapeutic tactics;
  2. Histological examination - used rarely, with suspicion of structural changes in cells and tissues.
  • Consultative diagnosis is assigned to exclude or confirm diseases of other organs and systems. For example, very important may be:
  1. consultation of the otolaryngologist;
  2. consultation of the therapist-gastroenterologist;
  3. consultations of an allergist, hematologist, rheumatologist, endocrinologist;
  4. consultation of a pediatric dentist, an infectious disease specialist.

Differential diagnosis

Differential diagnosis in the case of cracks in the tongue is carried out with such painful conditions:

  • secondary recurrent syphilis;
  • glossitis;
  • red flat lichen;
  • flat form of leukoplakia;
  • beriberi vitamin B 12;
  • beriberi vitamin B 1;
  • systemic scleroderma;
  • pathology of the digestive tract (colitis, enterocolitis, chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer, etc.).

Who to contact?

Treatment of the cracks in the tongue

Treatment usually consists of local and systemic effects on the body.

Systemic impact consists of such activities:

  1. Normalization of the digestive organs, treatment of existing diseases.
  2. Visit to the dentist, sanitation of the oral cavity, cleaning from tartar.
  3. With stress - the appointment of sedatives on the basis of valerian root, motherwort.
  4. Antiallergic treatment with Tavegil, Suprastin, Fenkarol.
  5. The appointment of vitamins and multivitamin preparations (vitamin B 5 to 0.2 g three times a day for 4 weeks, daily intake of Supradin, Vitrum).
  6. Dalargin 1 mg in the morning and evening in the form of intramuscular injections, for 10 days (has a significant analgesic effect and accelerates the healing of mucous tissues of the oral cavity).
  7. Tablets Biotrit-C for 1 pc. Sublingually three times a day after meals, for three weeks (has a biostimulating healing effect).
  8. Means that improve capillary blood circulation - Trental, Cavinton, Tanakan - for a month.

Local treatment can be as follows:

  1. Use of local analgesics:
  • 1-2% of pyromecaine;
  • 5% pyromecaine ointment;
  • 2% anestesin with glycerin.
  1. The use of distractions, which reduce the burning sensation in the tongue (irrigation with a solution of citral 30 drops per 200 ml of water).
  2. Application of medicines keratoplastic action (oil vitamin A, rosehip oil, dentopast Solcoseryl) up to five times a day, for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Applying fish oil three times a day for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinses with the anti-inflammatory drug Tantum Verde - 4 times a day for a week.
  5. Physiotherapy treatment - phonophoresis with analgin. A 50% solution of an analgin in an amount of 2 ml is mixed with 20 g of vaseline oil and distributed over the surface of the tongue. The procedure is carried out for 4 minutes, with an intensity of exposure of 0.1-0.2 W / cm². Mode - pulse. Therapeutic course consists of 12 sessions.

Other drugs used in cracks in the tongue


Dosing and Administration

Side effects

Special instructions


Used to rinse the mouth, up to 4 times a day (10 ml of the substance is dissolved in 50 ml of water).

Possible allergies, temporary changes in the color of tooth enamel.

Stomatophyte is not used to treat children under six years old.

Sea buckthorn oil

A tampon moistened with oil lubricates the surface of the tongue. The procedures are carried out daily, for 8-10 days.

Possible allergies, a brief increase in salivation.

Sea-buckthorn oil is undesirable to use during pregnancy.


In the form of tablets are taken orally, with food, to 0.5 g 4 times a day. The course of treatment is up to 1 month.

There may be a headache, heartburn.

Methyluracil in tablets is not used to treat children under 3 years old.


Tincture of propolis smeared the affected surface of the tongue 1-2 times a day for 1-2 weeks. You can use rinses with a solution of tincture of propolis (1 tsp per 100 ml of water).

Perhaps a brief burning sensation, dry mouth.

The drug is not used to treat children under 3 years old.


For the prevention and treatment of cracks in the tongue is very important to eat with food, or take extra, necessary for the body amount of vitamins.

  • Vitamin A is responsible for the secretory function of the glands, eliminates the dryness of mucous membranes and bleeding gums.
  • B vitamins normalize the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Ascorbic acid prevents the development of dental diseases, improves the protective properties of the mucosa.
  • Vitamin E is responsible for the repair of damaged tissues and their renewal.
  • Vitamin K helps digest calcium and vitamin D.
  • Vitamin PP prevents the development of any inflammatory processes in the mouth.

Alternative treatment

In addition to herbal remedies, which we will discuss below, cracks in the tongue can be treated with improvised means - potatoes, garlic, horseradish. Potato is rich in starch, so it provides a wrapping effect and relieves pain. Garlic is known for its antiseptic properties. Horseradish disinfects and depresses the vital activity of many pathogenic microorganisms.

  • Juice from the newly rubbed root horseradish is bred in half with water, brought to a boil and cooled, and then used to rinse the mouth.
  • Potato juice is recommended to hold in the mouth for 1-2 minutes. This should be done several times a day.
  • Rub fresh potatoes. Flesh is put in gauze and applied to the tongue, for several minutes, 2-3 times a day.
  • Chop the garlic, add warm boiled water (1: 5). The mass is held in the mouth for several minutes, 3-4 times a day.

Treatment with alternative methods will be more effective if you know exactly the cause that caused the appearance of cracks in the tongue. Influencing the cause, to overcome the disease can be much faster and better.

Herbal Treatment

External treatment of cracks can be carried out using decoctions and infusions of herbs:

  1. The broth, cooked on the basis of chamomile flowers, will help to quickly heal the wound and disinfect the painful areas of the mucosa. To make a decoction, pour 1 tbsp. L. Chamomile 200 ml of boiling water and insist for 60 minutes. Use a medicine to rinse the mouth, several times a day.
  2. A decoction of sage is considered one of the best herbal antiseptics. Broth rinse the mouth 3 times a day, pre-insisting about one hour.
  3. A decoction of coriander will help cope with the infection in the mouth. Coriander is well and successfully combined with sage.
  4. Decoction of the mattress is a good antiseptic, accelerating the healing of wounds and cracks in the tongue. The broth is prepared as follows: 1 tbsp. L. On 200 ml of boiling water, insist before cooling down.


From the cracks in the language, many use homeopathic remedies - in the vast majority of cases their use is not accompanied by side effects, they are devoid of contraindications and are effective enough.

  • Wenzel Spray for the oral cavity - provides local anti-inflammatory effect, strengthens local immune defense, restores oral mucosa and tongue. Usually the drug is sprayed on the affected surface of the tongue three times a day.
  • Ginseng compositum H is an oral solution that is successfully used for the treatment of inflammatory infectious diseases and degenerative-dystrophic changes in the mucosa. The drug is advised to take 10 drops three to six times a day for 20 minutes before meals. The limiting daily amount of the drug is 60 drops.
  • Mucosa compositum is an injectable solution for intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. The drug helps to cope with inflammatory and ulcerative-erosive processes in the mucous tissues of the digestive system and oral cavity, and also eliminates dysbacteriosis in the intestine. Injections are carried out 1-3 times a week, 1 ampoule.
  • Echinacea compositum C is an injection solution that is used for the complex treatment of acute and chronic forms of inflammatory and purulent-inflammatory pathologies of mucous tissues. The drug is administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously once in 2-4 days, for 14-45 days.

Operative treatment

Surgical treatment of cracks in the tongue is used very rarely.

Indication can be:

  • deep damage to the tissues of the tongue with the development of the inflammatory process;
  • abscesses of the tongue and oral cavity.


Prevention of all diseases, including cracks in the language, is, first of all, in the observance of proper nutrition and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. A huge role is played by daily oral hygiene.

A number of basic preventive measures can be identified to prevent cracks in the language:

  1. Daily cleaning of teeth with the use of toothpaste and rinse, regular use of dental floss, regular consultation of the dentist.
  2. Competent nutrition with enough vitamins and other useful ingredients.
  3. Regular washing of hands, especially before meals.
  4. Rejection of bad habits that are harmful to our health.
  5. Physical activity, walking in nature.
  6. Measures for hardening and strengthening of immunity.
  7. Timely visits to doctors and treatment of diseases.
  8. Prevention of diseases that can be transmitted through sexual contact.
  9. Prevention of self-medication by any medication.
  10. Avoid contact with possible allergens.


In most cases, cracks in the tongue do not pose a threat to the health of the patient. The probability of malignant degeneration of such lesions is practically excluded.

In order for the outcome to be particularly favorable, it is necessary to find and eliminate the reason for the cracks in the language.

It is important to know!

A white touch on the tongue is a symptom that, if at first glance seemingly harmless, in most cases indicates a certain, serious enough health problems, because normally there should be no deposits on the surface of the tongue. Read more..

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 25.06.2018

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