My son has just been diagnosed with Geographical tongue and he is in a lot of pain. It seems a coincidence that it happened just after hubby and he went to McDonald's and had a huge feast. A few hours afterwards my son went into such an angry rage for approx 6 hrs. He was uncontrollable, couldn't talk to him or reason with him. Screaming with rage in my face and his 2 year old sister's face and his tongue flared up at the same time. His behaviour has calmed down again but tongue still so red and sore. Is this just a coincidence or is there a connection?  - Shez

One of my boys (4) has geographic tongue. It has never once hurt him and we first noticed it before he was 2. He probably has it more often than he doesn't. We have had him tested for all sorts of things when he was little. We put it down to an intolerance to wheat back them but he seems to have settled down now. Nothing in particular makes it flare up just happens  - Jaycinta

One of my boys has it as well and same as your boy it has never hurt him - Louise

Salicylates response here for something similar, although not diagnosed. And yes, horribly painful - Judith

My daughter had a geographical tongue. Later it did settle down but now at 15 whenever she eats certain foods her lips go red, dry and cracked. Certain colours and additives like in bbq flavoured chips or corn chips sets it off - Christine

Howard's comment: For many it runs a course of about 7 days, is painful and there is little that helps the pain.

From Failsafe Cookbook: Geographic tongue (benign migratory glossitis) - in this condition, bald spots surrounded by white edges make the tongue look like a map of the world. It’s in the same category as irritable bowel symptoms, since the mouth is the beginning of the digestive system. Any of the usual culprits can be involved, including salicylates and dairy products.

See more IBS factsheet