Fissured tongue (lingua plicata; LP) is a mostly asymptomatic condition characterized by grooves and fissures of varying depth on the dorsal surface of the tongue. Most reports in the literature indicate a prevalence of 10–20%, although there is marked variation. On the basis of 1,000 patients (n = 465 males, n = 535 females), this study examined the association between LP and age as well as further influencing factors. Participants completed a questionnaire comprising information regarding gender, age, alcohol and tobacco consumption, possibly existing removable dentures, and potential mouth burning. Subsequently, photographs of the protruded tongue were taken and examined by two investigators regarding the presence of LP. Four degrees of severity of the condition were distinguished. Degrees of severity of LP as well as numbers of affected individuals increased as a function of age (p < 0.001). LP occurred more frequently in males than females (p = 0.0029). In addition, smoking exerted a positive influence on the prevalence (p < 0.05), and a positive correlation appeared between mouth burning and LP (p < 0.01).

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