Geographic tongue or benign migratory glossitis, represents the loss of the filiform papillae on the dorsal surface of the tongue.
The condition is referred to as migratory because the lesion or loss of papillae will move or migrate across the dorsal surface of the tongue.
Geographic tongue is more commonly noted in females, has an unknown etiology (may be associated with eating certain foods, stress, etc..) and is asymptomatic in most cases.
Another interesting thing about geographic tongue is that it can actually be found in other areas of the oral cavity! In these cases, it is called areata stomatitis migrans or ectopic geographic tongue. Ectopic geographic tongue can be noted on the ventral surface of the tongue, the floor of the mouth and the cheek.