Prevalence of tongue lesions among Turkish schoolchildren

Saudi Med J. 2005 Dec;26(12):1962-7.


Objectives: To collect data on the prevalence of tongue lesions of Turkish schoolchildren in 3 different population samples in Ankara, and to analyze the relationship between tongue lesions and gender, oral hygiene, and income levels.

Methods: Nine hundred and six schoolchildren aged 6-12 participated in this study between March 2004 and July 2004 in Ankara, Turkey. Of the 906 schoolchildren, 442 were girls and 464 were boys from 3 primary schools. We examined all the children for the presence of the following tongue lesions: 1) ankyloglossia, 2) bifid tongue, 3) fissured tongue, 4) geographic tongue, 5) median rhomboid glossitis, 6) lingual thyroid nodule, 7) atrophic tongue, 8) hairy tongue, 9) crenation tongue, 10) furred tongue, 11) macroglossia, 12) microglossia, and 13) lingual or sublingual varicosities.

Results: Of the 906 subjects, we detected 45 subjects with tongue lesions with a prevalence of 4.95%. We found lesions more frequently in boys (6%) than in girls (4.5%). However, these results were statistically insignificant. Oral lesions commonly found were geographic tongue (1.8%), ankyloglossia (1.3%), fissured tongue (0.9%), bifid tongue (0.4%), hairy tongue (0.2%) and macroglossia (0.2%), lingual thyroid nodule (0.1%). We did not find any of the following lesions: median rhomboid glossitis, atrophic tongue, crenation tongue, furred tongue, microglossia, lingual, or sublingual varicosities.

Conclusion: The tongue has a special importance due to its localization. It can readily affect a patient's social life because of lesions and various symptoms. The localization of tongue may also play important role in diagnosis for systematic, hormonal, and allergic disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glossitis / diagnosis
  • Glossitis / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Students
  • Tongue / abnormalities*
  • Tongue Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Tongue Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Tongue, Fissured / diagnosis
  • Tongue, Fissured / epidemiology
  • Tongue, Hairy / diagnosis
  • Tongue, Hairy / epidemiology
  • Turkey / epidemiology