We know our tongue for its ability to help us speak, swallow and taste. However, your tongue can provide valuable insights into your oral health. At DNTL Hub, we carefully monitor all aspects of your dental health when you see us for a routine checkup. This includes your teeth and gums, as well as your tongue!
Here are some valued considerations of your tongue that consider when evaluating your oral health:
What is the Color of Your Tongue?
A healthy tongue typically has a pinkish hue. If your tongue appears pale, white, yellow, or has patches of different colors, it may indicate an underlying issue such as oral thrush, a bacterial or fungal infection, or even anemia.
What is the Coating or Surface of Your Tongue Like?
The surface of your tongue should be relatively smooth. If you notice a thick, white coating on your tongue, it could indicate an overgrowth of bacteria or a yeast infection. A brown or black coating may be a sign of poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, or certain medical conditions.
How is Your Tongue Texture?
A healthy tongue is generally moist and slightly bumpy due to tiny papillae. If your tongue appears excessively smooth, it may indicate a deficiency in nutrients like vitamin B12 or iron. A rough or patchy texture could be a sign of geographic tongue or oral irritation.
Is Your Tongue Swollen?
If your tongue appears swollen or feels larger than usual, it may indicate an allergic reaction, inflammation, or an underlying medical condition. Swelling can also be a sign of an infection or trauma.
Are There Cracks or Fissures on Your Tongue?
It is normal to have small cracks or fissures on the surface of your tongue. However, deep or persistent cracks could indicate a condition called oral lichen planus or a vitamin deficiency.
Does Your Tongue Have Sores or Ulcers?
Recurring sores or ulcers on your tongue could be a sign of a viral infection like herpes simplex or a condition called aphthous stomatitis. These conditions are generally harmless but can be uncomfortable.
Stick Out Your Tongue and Take a Look
What is your tongue trying to tell you about your oral health? If you need help evaluating your tongue and determining what is normal and what is not, let us help. Call DNTL Hub if you notice any persistent changes or abnormalities on your tongue, and our dentists will determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment, if necessary.