Why Your Tongue Has Cracks on It

If you’ve taken a good look at your tongue lately, you may have noticed that it’s not totally smooth. It may have some crevices and cracks that make it look like a worn pavement. You may have even wondered if that’s normal, if it affects taste, and what causes it. Actually, a cracked tongue is known as a "fissured" tongue. The grooves are normally found on the middle third of the top portion of the tongue and can either be shallow or deep. Often, one large crack splinters off into smaller ones. The American Academy of Oral Medicine estimates that roughly 5% of the population has these fissures. Is it evidence of a genetic mutation? Unfortunately, scientists aren’t really sure about that. While it may become pronounced with age, it’s not known to cause or signal any kind of health problem other than bad breath. That’s because if the tongue’s surface isn’t completely smooth, food debris can become trapped in the grooves. That requires a little extra attention when brushing your teeth to make sure you also include your tongue. Though the sight of a fissured tongue can be a little unsettling, there’s usually no cause for concern.