If you stick out your tongue at your next dental visit, the dentist won’t be offended at all. In fact, sticking your tongue out is a good way for the dentist to gather some important clues about your oral health as well as your physical health. What information can be gained from an examination of the tongue? Some of the top dentists in Raleigh explain what the appearance of your tongue says about you:
White patches on the tongue- These indicate an overgrowth of candida, also known as yeast or thrush, a condition that can be easily treated with antifungal medications.
Black and hairy-looking tongue- This could indicate a yeast infection, but could be due to diabetes, cancer treatments, or poor oral hygiene.
Combination of red and white spots on the tongue- this is a fairly common condition in which the taste buds have worn down in certain places, sometimes known as Geographic Tongue. This harmless condition can change throughout your lifetime and does not require any treatment.
A bright red tongue- This could indicate a fever or strep throat, but could also suggest a deficiency in folic acid, vitamin B12, or iron.
A webbed or striped tongue- this chronic condition known as lichen planus, is an autoimmune disorder in which the tissue cells in the mouth are attacked by the immune system.
Ridges on the border of the tongue– these indentations are caused by the teeth pressing against the tongue for long periods of time, particularly overnight.
Bumps on the tongue’s surface– canker sores, cold sores, and herpes can cause these lesions to appear periodically.
Dentists recommend that you inspect your own mouth– including taking note of the color and texture of your tongue– regularly. While some conditions can be considered normal or benign, others can indicate serious health problems. The dentist or your physician can help you to treat these issues in order to improve your overall health and wellness. For more information, contact a Raleigh dentist today.