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geographig tongue
Jul 26, 1999

dear doctor, i would like to know what causes the geographic tongue and aphthous ulcerations, which are the symptoms and which are the treatments for both, in hiv + and hiv negative persons, thanks in advance for your atention.

Response from Dr. Reznik

In regards to aphthous ulcerations, this is a question we are still researching. With all of the information we do know and all of the technology available, we are still not sure of the cause of aphthous ulcers. Aphthous ulcers tend to be painful lesions which appear on non-keratinized tissues, such as buccal mucosa (cheeks), muccobuccal folds (the area where the buccal mucosa and non-attached gingiva come together), floor of the mouth, undersurface of the tongue, etc. Aphthous ulcerations usually have a bright red halo of inflammation surrounding the ulcer. These lesions are usually self-limiting in immunocompetent individuals and tend to last longer and be more painful in immunosuppressed people. Treatment, if necessary in immunosuppressed individuals, normally involves the use of topical steroid rinses or preparations in the case of minor ulcers and systemic corticosteroids in the case of major or large ulcerations.

Geographic tongue is thought to be related to an autoimmune disorder and is not related to HIV infection, although like any other condition, can be seen in people living with HIV infection. Usually geographic tongue is self limiting and does not require therapy. In severe cases, relief can be obtained by using topical steroid rinses.

I hope this information proves helpful.

DR


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