Geographic tongue or benign migratory glossitis is defined as an inflammatory disorder with unknown etiology, characterized with a decrease in the number of papillae in the dorsum and lateral border of the tongue circumfusing with the formation of red, round patches with white distinct borders that give the tongue a map-like appearance (1). Its prevalence has been reported to be 2-3%, occurring more often in children, with a slight preference for females, and with its frequency reducing with age. Lesions tend to change location, pattern and size over time, affecting mainly the back and side edges of the tongue. In most cases it is asymptomatic. However, some patients may report pain or burning sensation, especially during ingestion of spicy or acidic foods. Although the main etiology of geographic tongue remains unknown, some factors including emotional stress, vitamin deficiency, allergy, genetic factors, immune disorders, bacterial or fungal infection and systemic diseases are known to play a causative role. There is a link between geographic tongue and psoriasis skin disease. A geographic tongue is significantly more frequent in psoriatic patients but only a limited data is available to date to strongly validate the association between these two entities (2).

The lesions need to be treated in case of presence of pain, burning sensation, taste diminution, cancer phobia or aesthetic concerns   (1). Several topical and systemic treatment are proposed in the literature, like Triamcinolone Acetonide (1), Tacrolimus (3,4), topical steroids (beta-metasone) (5). Despite the use of Laser in the oral soft tissue wound healing is documented (6, 7),in the literature there are not work about the use of this device in the treatment of migratory glossitis . The aim of this work is to report a case of syntomatic migrant glossitis successfully treated with a type of a low power laser.

Case report

A male patient aged 75, came under our observation for an injury from several months to the tongue. He was not undergone to drugs and said us to have good general health, only referred us episodes of allergic skin disease that occurred several years earlier.The lesions appeared as multiple erosions rounded on the left tongue with a well-defined margin, aching in the presence of salty and spicy foods. From a clinical evaluation a diagnosis of benign migrating glossitis was performed (fig. 1).
The patient refused the application of ointments or other topic deans for the strong tendency to retch. We decided to try to treat the lesions with the application of Laser B cure , (DenMat Italy), 808 nm 0.25 watts. The laser is activated in 1-minute cycles for 6 consecutive times , keeping the light at about 1 cm from the lesion. The next day the patient was free of any symptoms while chewing salty and spicy foods and after 7 days there was a total remission of the disease (Fig. 2).


Un paziente di sesso maschile di 75 anni, è giunto alla nostra


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Autrice : Drssa Cinzia Casu