What does the Tongue say?

We’ve all got them, and most of us see quite a few of them throughout our day. The human tongue is a remarkable part of the body, unique in many regards, but what does its appearance tell us? There are several important messages we can get, simply by keeping an eye on our tongue. It can give us significant clues about how our oral health is doing and what it needs in order to improve. So, when you’re brushing your teeth, take a look at your tongue and see what it has to say. This can help you stay on top of your oral health, but you still need to see the dentist twice a year for your Tulsa teeth cleaning.

 

Some of the more common, but still rare, tongue indicators:

Tongue appears white: This can be caused by the buildup of food particles, plaque, and bacteria. If this is the case, then a simple cleaning should take care of it, and make sure to brush your tongue gently when you brush your teeth should keep it from reoccurring. It can also be caused by a yeast infection called oral thrush. If cleaning doesn’t resolve the discoloration, then see your doctor.

Tongue appears red or has red splotches: Canker sores, lacerations, and other irritations can all cause such things but should be relatively easy for you to locate. Sores and irritations should be at the center of pain and have a visible element. Rarer, and more dangerous causes of a tongue with red discoloration are scarlet fever or vitamin deficiencies. If you think that you are suffering from either, then contact a doctor and let them address it.

Tongue appears black: Sometimes caused by dry mouth, changes in the bacteria ecosystem of the mouth, or poor oral hygiene. Most often, it is a combination of all three. Decreased saliva causes less food to be broken down and rinsed away. Poor oral hygiene leaves more debris in the mouth and loses the benefits of such things as toothpaste. The ecosystem of bacteria in your mouth, as a result of the other two factors, suddenly flourishes and experiences a population explosion as a result of the friendly, and food heavy, environment. The proliferation of these bacteria can cause your tongue to appear black and even hairy. Immediately step up your game on the oral care front, brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day, making sure to get that Tulsa teeth cleaning, and the problem will likely go away. If it continues then contact your doctor.

Tongue feels or looks swollen: Allergies can cause the tongue and other areas to swell. If you experience swelling of the throat, seek aid immediately. Even minor lacerations, or cuts, to the tongue, can lead to swelling of sizable portions of it. As long as keep these injuries clean and free of infection, it should start to clear up after a few days. Some medications can also cause swelling of the tongue as a side effect. If experiencing this and taking medications, call your doctor and ask them about it.

 

All Said and Done

So, it turns out the tongue says a lot, and these are only a small sample of the many ways our tongue can provide information about our oral health quality and dental practices. Keep an eye on that tongue and keep up with your bi-annual Tulsa teeth cleaning. Schedule an appointment with Tulsa Modern Dental today!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.medicinenet.com/tongue_problems/article.htm
  2. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/tongue-problems-topic-overview
  3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-your-tongue-can-tell-you-about-your-health/