Your Tongue: A Diagnostic Tool for Oral Issues

Einstein sticking his tongue out

Dental Partners of Boston wants to give each one of our patients the best care possible. This means we also try to help our patients with tips on how to maintain great oral hygiene in their daily lives. While of course this includes brushing and flossing daily, there are also other important things to know about your oral hygiene. Being aware of what is going on with your dental health can help you avoid long-lasting problems and also keep your smile looking great.

What many people don’t realize is that their tongue is a great indicator of what is going on with their oral hygiene. The appearance of the tongue can tell you a lot about potential problems. Here are some of the things to look for, that you can even look for outside of the dentist’s office, when using your tongue as a diagnostic tool

  1. Swollen grey/white balloon like blob under tongue: This could mean that you have a blocked salivary gland. These small openings can become blocked and fill with fluid. If this doesn’t go away after a few days, consult your dentist.
  2. Sores that have halos around them: A healthy tongue is pink and mostly smooth. If you have red or white patches or a spot surrounded by a red ring, you should contact your dentist. This could be an indicator of skin cancer.
  3. Red, thick tongue: This could be an issue of diet. If you don’t have enough B12, your tongue can often show this problem by becoming red and thick. This could be an indication that you need more B12 in your diet.
  4. Swelling: This could be from an allergic reaction. If the swelling is causing your tongue to push forward and block your airway, this is a serious problem, and you should seek medical attention right away.
  5. Dry, white gloss tongue: Dry mouth happens when the mouth isn’t making enough saliva. This can lead to an uncomfortable dry, heavy feeling. This can also change the appearance of your tongue. Dry mouth could indicate issues such as gum disease. Consult your dentist to see what is going on.

Schedule and Appointment With Us

Contact Dental Partners of Boston to make an appointment if you would like a check-up or may believe you have one of the symptoms mentioned above. We strive to be the best dentist in Boston and the surrounding area. We can help you if you notice any of the problems above. Also, remember to schedule routine dental visits to keep up your oral hygiene and overall health.