What Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health

You probably examine your teeth and gums for anomalies when you brush and floss. But how frequently do you inspect your tongue? The color and texture of your tongue might reveal information about your oral and overall health. If you observe any of the following symptoms, it is best to contact our dentists right away to learn more about what it means.

White Spots & Coating

Oral thrush is a yeast infection that occurs inside the mouth and may be indicated by white spots or a white coating on the tongue. If you have diabetes, use inhaled steroids, or take antibiotics; you may be susceptible to thrush.

Indentations & Ridges

Scalloped tongue edges may be caused by how the teeth press into the tongue while sleeping. Other ridges and indentations can occur, including a deep crack down the center of the tongue. Cleaning your tongue will remove any food particles lodged in the gaps or ridges.

Black & Hairy

The microscopic fleshy bumps on the tongue, known as papillae, can expand and house germs, giving the tongue a black or hairy appearance. A dark, hairy tongue may indicate diabetes, yeast infection, or poor dental hygiene.

Smooth & Shiny

A smooth tongue has a glossy surface with a red or pink backdrop, often known as atrophic glossitis or atrophic papillae. It is a condition in which the tongue’s usual rough surface (papillae) diminishes or disappears, leaving the tongue looking bald, shiny, and thin.

Yellow & Fuzzy

Although not typically harmful to your dental health, a yellow or fuzzy tongue may indicate bacterial accumulation. Brushing your tongue with the same frequency as your teeth would be best. Bacteria can build up and contribute to foul breath or plaque formation. During your next visit, your dentist will tell you if you need to focus more on brushing your tongue.

Schedule a Dental Exam

A healthy tongue is usually pink; it can be lighter or darker. It is covered with tiny bumps called papillae, which give it a rough surface. Brush your tongue after brushing your teeth to eradicate any bacteria. Examine it in the mirror to learn how it usually appears and be aware of any changes. Discuss any changes you see during your next visit with our Davie dentists, Plantation dentists, or Tamarac dentists.