The tongue is more than just a random body part. Your tongue plays a key role in your ability to taste and swallow food. Believe it or not, your tongue can also provide your dentist with clues to your oral health and even your overall health. You might be surprised by what your tongue can tell you about your health.

White Coating on Tongue

Your tongue is supposed to be a lovely shade of pink. If parts of your tongue appear to be coated with a white substance, this could be oral thrush, a yeast overgrowth that occurs inside the oral cavity. Of course, it could just be whitish from not brushing your tongue every time you brush your teeth. You do that, don’t you? If the white brushes away, you’re good to go.

White Patches on Tongue

Leukoplakia is a condition that can happen if the tongue has been irritated, such as with smoking or tobacco use. Every medical professional will advise you to quit that tobacco habit, but it’s ultimately up to you. If you see white patches, though, book a dentist appointment to be on the safe side and to rule out oral cancer.

Overly Red Tongue

While an overly red tongue can be a symptom of a Kawasaki disease, it’s much more commonly associated with a vitamin deficiency, such as folic acid or B-12. The solution could be simply adding a vitamin supplement to your morning smoothie. Speak to your health care provider before starting a vitamin regimen.

Tender, Sore Tongue

If your tongue is overly sensitive in one spot or all over, you could have a food allergy or a developing canker sore. Don’t worry about it, unless it doesn’t go away for a time. After that, time to call in the dentist for a professional opinion!

Hairy Tongue

Yep, sounds strange, but sometimes a protein build-up can cause small bumps to become elongated trapping food resulting in what looks like strands of hair on your tongue. Usually a good brushing or tongue scraping will take care of it, but if it doesn’t, a trip to the dentist is in order.

As your dentist, we are the first line of defense against both serious and benign health concerns. So, stick out your tongue in our office and be ready for a comprehensive oral checkup. You never know what your tongue might be telling you about your health! Worried about your tongue or just need to schedule a dental check-up? We look forward to seeing you and seeing what that tongue of yours is telling us about your health. Call 217-223-9137 today!