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yellow tongue
Dec 30, 1999

dear doctor,

ive been told by my primary physician not to worry about having geographic tongue. ive been hiv+ since 1991 and have had geograhic tongue for the last 3 years. recently the color in the center and toward the back of my tongue has changed from a white shade to one of yellow. what might be causing this? should i be concerned? what can i do diagnostically speaking? thankyou for your advice.

Response from Dr. Reznik

There may be several explanations as to why the color of the back area of your tongue has changed color including something as simple as staining of the papillae or more complicated such as increased bilirubin levels. If your liver enzymes were high, etc. I am sure that your physician would have informed you. Geographic tongue, which text books describe as a benign condition (that is unless you have it yourself!) begins as irregularly outlined pink to red flat spots in which are devoid of normal papillae. There is a characteristic margin around the lesions which may be as big as a quarter. The uninvolved papillae surrounding the lesion may be raised and yellow in appearance. So what you may be experiencing is nothing more than a typical presentation of geographic tongue.

I hope this helps! If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to let me know or better yet have a dental professional take a look!

Have a great New Year!

DR


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