What your tongue can tell you about your health

December 20, 2022

You probably don’t give a lot of thought to your tongue, but like your teeth and gums, it’s a vital part of your oral health. At Seaside Dentistry, we believe in proactive, collaborative care and a comprehensive approach to dentistry. Oral health is a gateway to overall health–and the tongue can’t be forgotten.

If you’re wondering whether your tongue is considered “healthy” or not, keep reading to learn what changes you should look out for and how taking care of your oral health is a way to take care of your overall self.

“When you take care of yourself, your confidence grows. Taking care of your teeth and your tongue is no different,” said Dr. Pare of Seaside Dentistry in Jupiter, “oral health is self-care.”

A healthy tongue often looks pink, but it can also look lighter or darker. Tiny bumps called papillae cover it, giving it a rough surface. Your tongue should also feel and look well moistened. When brushing your teeth, you should also brush your tongue to remove any bacteria. This is an ideal time to look at your tongue in the mirror to learn what it usually looks like and be aware of any changes as they occur. If you notice any changes, discuss them with your dentist, Dr. Pare.

A change in your tongue’s appearance can indicate you have an issue with your oral health or your overall health. The following are some common changes to look out for and what they may be telling you and your dentist:

-White Spots
-The Color of your Tongue
-“Hairy” Tongue
-Burning Sensation
-Smooth, Shiny Tongue Tissue
-Thin Tongue

Brushing your tongue gently from back to front a few times with a toothbrush and toothpaste is an easy first step, since you’re already in there brushing your teeth twice a day anyway.But tongue scraping can do a better job at removing that plaque and bacteria off the tongue’s surface.Tongue scraping can remove bacteria and improve bad breath more than brushing.

Changes in your tongue may indicate an issue with your oral health. Make regular tongue checks a part of your daily brushing routine. If you notice a change that doesn’t go away in 7-10 days, call us at Seaside Dentistry in Jupiter, FL and tell us about it. Dr. Ashley Pare can effectively treat the problem as soon as possible to restore your oral health. Treatments depend on the cause and may include a medicated rinse.

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