Q: The patient in the photo has:
oral pathology, geographic tongue, dental hygiene exam prep

Q: The patient in the photo has:

Q: The patient in the photo has:

(A.) Geographic tongue
(B.) Oral candidiasis
(C.) Median rhomboid glossitis
(D.) Smooth tongue

oral pathology, geographic tongue, dental hygiene exam prep
Mini Boards Reviews for the National + Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Exams!

Geographic tongue and median rhomboid glossitis… For some reason, the two get mixed up in our head sometimes. Let’s review them a little more closely today and perfect our knowledge about oral pathology for the dental hygiene board exam (NDBHE/NDHCE, and CSCE).

  • Geographic tongue also called erythema migrans or benign migratory glossitis appears as smooth patches devoid of filiform papilla. Those patches develop on the dorsal and lateral borders of the tongue, which can also move around different areas on the tongue. The condition is benign and does not require any treatment.
  • Median rhomboid glossitis appears as a flat or slightly raised oval/rectangular erythematous (red) area in the midline of the dorsal surface of the tongue. When associated with fungus, primarily Candida albicans, median rhomboid glossitis responds well to antifungal medications.
  • Candidiasis, commonly known as thrush, is caused by the fungus Candida albicans. This fungus is part of the normal oral microflora, but a weakened immune system can allow the fungus to grow. Candidiasis usually presents as white patches that can be wiped off. But not all candidiasis appears as white lesions; erythematous candidiasis and denture stomatitis are red.

Answer: (A.) Geographic tongue

Now look at the image. Can you see some “smooth” patches on different parts of the tongue (not the middle area)? This is an indication for geographic tongue. I hope this all makes sense! There are so many conditions to review for the dental hygiene board exam (NDBHE/NDHCE, and CSCE), so take the time to make flashcards with the summary of oral pathology and matching images.

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National (NBDHE, NDHCE)+ Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Review by StudentRDH
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(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS
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