New Patient Form Book an Appointment Now!
Local brampton dentist serving the community for over 20 years.
fissured tongue vector

What Is A Fissured Tongue?

A fissured tongue is exactly like the name describes a tongue with fissures on its surface. It is not a cause for concern, and it is considered a normal variation. Fissured tongue affects roughly five percent of the population. It affects men slightly more than women. This condition occurs during childhood; however, it is more prominent in adults. Fissures may become more defined with age.

While the exact cause is not known, it may be inherited. Fissured tongue may accompany these other conditions:

Geographic tongue: This is a condition that commonly shows up with fissured tongue. This condition is not a serious issue, and there are no significant side effects.

girl with geographic tongue

Image of girl with geographic tongue

Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome: This is a rare condition causing swelling of the lips and face. Additionally, it causes periodic facial paralysis and a fissured tongue.

Characteristics Of A Fissured Tongue:

  • Fissures, grooves, or tracks that appear on the surface and sides of the tongue.
  • There may be a large fissure in the middle of the tongue as shown in the image below
  • Fissures are only on the tongue, and nowhere else in the mouth.
  • Varying fissure depths, sometimes as much as 6 mm deep.
  • May have a sectional or separated type of look on the surface of the tongue.
person with a fissured tongue

By Laila – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0


You are unlikely to have symptoms due to having a fissured tongue unless significant build-up occurs in grooves of the tongue. However, small amounts of patients report a burning sensation with this condition. The bacterial build-up in the grooves of the tongue irritates the tongue. It is essential to keep the tongue free of build-up. Additionally, bad breath is reported


Since this condition has no severe complications or symptoms, there are no treatment options. Avoiding build-up by cleaning the tongue regularly avoids issues for most people.


About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio

Dr. Joseph Salvaggio, DDS

Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.

A better looking and healthier smile. Book now!

  • Call (905) 791-1800

    book an appointment now or fill out form below