What Does Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health-Facts You Need to Know

What Does Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health-Facts You Need to Know

September 1, 2022

Did you know that the tongue depicts a lot about your overall health? You might be wondering why your dentist examines your tongue during your dental appointment. The color of your tongue, presence of grooves, and unusual pattern could indicate that you have a bacterial infection or a severe underlying health condition. Your dentist in Watsonville can determine your health issue by inspecting your tongue. Further, you can be guided on the right dietary lifestyle to follow.

Facts you need to know

While your teeth are vulnerable to decay, your tongue is also exposed to the same bacteria. You will likely notice bumps or groves called papillae on your tongue surface. Failure to take care of your tongue may lead to the development of dental plaque, which further spreads to cause gum disease or tooth decay. Below are some of the conditions you should know regarding the tongue and your health:

Red Tongue: A reddened tongue might indicate that you lack Vitamin B12 or Iron that aid in the growth of the tongue’s raised protrusions or have body fever.

Brown/Black/Hairy Tongue: Black hairy Tongue occurs due to overgrowth of dead skin cells, lengthening of the papillae, or stains from bacteria, food, yeast, tobacco, or other substances. Sometimes the tongue may change the color due to the intake of pigmented foods and beverages.

Purplish Tongue: It’s rare for your tongue to turn purple, unlike with other discolorations. A purplish tongue might indicate you are deficient in some nutrients like Vitamin B12. You’ll require a dental exam at our General dentistry in Watsonville, CA.

Extreme Smoothness: the tongue has hair-like structures than enhance its texture, and if the tongue is extremely smooth, you are likely to suffer from a nutritional deficiency.

Stripped Tongue: if your tongue is stripped, your immune system is likely to be affected and could be resulted from a systemic inflammatory disease.

What Are Some Common Diseases That Can Affect the Tongue?

Our dentist in Watsonville recommends you clean your tongue regularly to avoid bad breath associated with bacteria. Below are some of the conditions or issues that your tongue may encounter:

  • Oral thrush- an oral yeast infection that causes white lesions on the tongue
  • Kawasaki Disease-It’s a systemic inflammatory disease that commonly affects children
  • Fissured tongue-A condition that leads to the formation of grooves or small furrows on the tongue
  • Atrophic glossitis-causes swelling, burning, or itchy Tongue or Tongue discoloration
  • Hairy Tongue-abnormal tongue coating due to lack of stimulation
  • Leukoplakia- spots or patches associated with heavy smoking and alcohol usage

Burning mouth, and oral cancer, among other oral health diseases, are manifested by the tongue. Therefore, you must undergo dental exams for oral cancer screening, among other issues.

Tips on How You Need to Keep the Tongue Healthy

Below are some vital practices for your tongue’s health:

  • Brush your tongue regularly- the tongue collects plaque and food debris, and if left uncleaned, it causes bad breath, changes in your tongue color, or loss of taste. So, it’s crucial to scrape your tongue and remove residue from the tongue surface.
  • Eat a balanced diet- your tongue requires nutrients, and at our General dentistry in Watsonville, CA, we recommend you eat foods with known anti-microbial properties, like ginger, chopped onions, garlic, and coconut. Such ingredients are active in fighting harmful bacteria. You also need to consider iron-rich foods in your diet that boosts your tongue health.
  • Remain hydrated- failure to drink enough water halts the production of saliva. Saliva removes harmful bacteria, which may cause bad breath and decay. Therefore, it’s crucial t drink adequate water daily to keep your tongue healthy.
  • Avoid smoking- smoking weakens the dental structure and may lead to oral cancer. Additionally, smoking tobacco products changes the shape of your taste buds making it hard to taste bitter foods and caffeine.
  • Make regular dental appointments- it’s crucial to make periodic visits to your dentist to detect oral health issues at early stages and find treatment.

Your tongue is crucial in detecting and diagnosing oral health diseases. Our experts at Watsonville Family Dental check for changes in your tongue texture, color, or presence of patches. Tongue inflammation or sensitivity may be caused by allergies, oral cancer, or vitamin deficiencies. If your tongue is sensitive or has patches, you must seek medical attention today.

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