I keep seeing patients with geographic tongues at least once a month. Sometimes patients know that they have something on their tongue.
Geographic tongue is a harmless condition. It does not lead to any other conditions and does not cause any major health risks. Normally a tongue has papillae on it. They are usually pink and white. In geographic tongue patches of tongue get denuded and the papillae are lost. The appearance is a white or red patchy tongue making it look map-like. The patches move around frequently.
There is no known cause for it but it is thought that genetics, stress, vitamin B deficiency are contributing factors.
Usually there are no symptoms but sometimes there is a burning sensation and some discomfort to some foods.
It is better to have a dentist look at it just to confirm the diagnosis.
Foods to avoid are acidic, hot, spicy/salty foods, tobacco use and whitening products.
There is no specific treatment but symptomatic treatment can be given based on your symptoms.