Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 2487–2493 | Cite as

Treatment of symptomatic benign migratory glossitis: a systematic review

  • Wladimir Gushiken de CamposEmail author
  • Camila Vieira Esteves
  • Lígia Gonzaga Fernandes
  • Carina Domaneschi
  • Celso Augusto Lemos Júnior



The aim of this systematic review is to summarize the results of all published studies on symptomatic benign migratory glossitis and evaluate the best available treatment.


We searched the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, LILACS, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science for articles published up to September 2017, with no time restriction. We considered only articles published in English that evaluated the treatment of symptomatic benign migratory glossitis in children and adults. The protocol for this systematic review was registered at the international prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO) as CRD42017074096.


Of the 840 identified studies, 11 were included in our sample. Multiple treatment modalities were described for the treatment of symptomatic benign migratory glossitis.


There is a very low level of evidence for the treatment of symptomatic benign migratory glossitis, with substantial methodological heterogeneity among the evaluated studies. In summary, we could identify no specific treatment for symptomatic benign migratory glossitis.

Clinical relevance

In clinical practice, at the outpatient clinic of oral medicine, we attend to many patients diagnosed with benign migratory glossitis, with varying intensity of pain ranging from mild to severe. Treating this disease is a formidable challenge for clinicians. Therefore, we performed a systematic review of benign migratory glossitis to identify the best evidence-based treatment available for this condition. We believe that this article may be useful in guiding clinicians on the choice of treatment.


Benign migratory glossitis Geographic tongue Treatment Exfoliatio areata linguae 



The work was supported by the Department of Stomatology, College of Dentistry, University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Supplementary material

784_2018_2553_MOESM1_ESM.doc (62 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 62.5 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Stomatology, School of DentistryUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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