The tongue is one of the most used muscles in the body, and yet, the average person rarely gives their tongue any real attention. One thing you may not know about the tongue is it can speak volumes about your oral health. In fact, every good dentist will examine your tongue during a visit. Here is a look at a few things your tongue can tell you about your oral health.
1. Your tongue appears white.
The tongue has these finger-like formations referred too technically as papillae. If these papillae get inflamed, they can appear to take on a white appearance because bits of food and bacteria will collect between the formations. Many things can lead to the appearance of a white tongue with papillae inflammation as the root cause, such as:
- Not drinking enough water
- Poor oral hygiene habits
The tongue may not even be consistently white; you may also notice white patches on certain parts of the tongue.
2. Your tongue has a darker tone or may even look black.
Believe it or not, black hairy tongue is a legitimate oral health condition. If your tongue appears black and even looks like it has grown some kind of weird growth, this rare condition may be to blame. Once again, this kind of issue is normally caused by the overgrowth of papillae on the tongue. However, with a darkened tongue, it can mean the papillae have collected stains from foods you eat or bacterial growths. Thankfully, this unsightly and uncomfortable condition tends to rectify itself quickly with a good oral hygiene plan and perhaps some dentist advice.
3. Your tongue always feels dry.
The tongue should feel moist and supple pretty much all the time. Due to the fact that the tongue is used for speaking and chewing and swallowing food, a dry tongue can get in the way of normal everyday actions. If your tongue always feels dry or appears dry, there may be a health problem to blame that deserves professional attention. A dry tongue may be a sign that you are not taking in enough fluid, which is easy enough to solve. However, the condition can also mean you have elevated blood sugar levels, you are breathing with your mouth open more often than you should, or have certain autoimmune diseases.
Ready to Talk About Oral Health Care in Woodbury?
You may not always give your tongue attention, but it is deserving of some observance when it is trying to tell you something is wrong with your oral health. If you see something odd about your tongue, reach out to us at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule an appointment.