Get A Clue About Your Dental Health By Examining Your Tongue

Posted on: 3 February 2023

Many people don't consider how their tongues tell a story. Dentists have long known that the appearance of a patient's tongue can provide a wealth of information. To find out more, read on.

When Your Tongue is Super Red

Sure, red is the normal color of your tongue, but a bright red tongue might be a sign of vitamin deficiencies. If left unchecked, deficiencies can develop into serious diseases. Have some bloodwork done to find out what you are missing and get caught up as soon as you can.

Your Tongue is Growing Hair

Imagine examining your tongue and spotting what appears to be hair growing out of it. Relax, it's not hair but it may be a sign of a tongue that is trapping food particles and needs a good cleaning. It seems that the food particles clinging to the tongue only give the appearance of hair. The solution is simple – brush your tongue when you brush your teeth, and you won't need to visit a barber anytime soon.

White, Milky Patches Appear

It may be something extremely serious, so make an appointment with your dentist right away. Dentists (and dental hygienists) are trained to spot the signs of oral cancer and this disease is survivable if you act quickly. It may not be cancer, but it pays to make sure. Other causes of white patches include a tongue irritated by smoking.

Does My Tongue Have Acne?

Acne is not likely but small bumps could be an indicator of a disease called geographic tongue. That name describes how the little bumps appear in some areas while other areas appear flat, and they can look just like a map to some people. Even though geographic tongue looks bizarre and worrying, it's not. In some cases, however, these bumpy patches can feel sensitive and uncomfortable so speak to your dentist to find out more.

When Your Tongue is Sore

Canker sores can appear almost anywhere in your mouth, even on your tongue. These sores can pop up for several reasons including accidental tongue bites, allergies, and minor cuts. In most cases, canker sores are not a sign of cancer or anything harmful, but they can be annoying. If your sores hang around for too long, speak to your dentist.

Most people take their tongues for granted until a problem appears, but you might want to take a look at your tongue between dental visits to familiarize yourself with what a healthy tongue should look like. Speak to your dentist to find out more.