How to Cure a Raw Tongue

Updated April 17, 2017

A raw tongue is a symptom of what is medically known as geographic tongue. The condition is actually harmless, but does still cause the person's tongue to appear extremely raw -- and in certain cases, it can cause discomfort and slight pain. Geographic tongue causes red lesions to appear on the tongue's surface -- these raw patches tend to migrate to different areas of the tongue, which can be quite alarming for the affected.

Purchase some over-the-counter pain relievers, if you are experiencing discomfort. Your family doctor will not prescribe any antibiotics, because geographic tongue will eventually clear up on its own. However, pain relief medication is a good idea if the rawness of the tongue is causing you pain.

Invest in some antihistamine mouth rinses or anesthetic mouth washes to treat the tongue directly. Always read the label for before consumption -- you may not be able to take pain killers and mouth rinses at the same time.

Ensure your daily diet does not aggravate your geographic tongue further. In particular, avoid hot, spicy, acidic or salty foods and stay away from tobacco, alcohol and toothpaste that contains tartar-control additives, heavy flavouring or whitening agents.

See your family doctor, if the pain and discomfort continues. The reaction on your tongue may also be any number of other ailments and conditions, like a possible food allergy.


Geographic tongue is also known as benign migratory glossitis.

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About the Author

Matthew Caines began writing and editing in 2008 and has since gained valuable experience in the publishing industry working for national publications such as "The Guardian," "Sartorial Male," "AREA Magazine," "Food & Drink Magazine," "Redbrick Newspaper" and "REACH Magazine." He has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Birmingham, U.K.