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Relation between Tongue and Oral Health

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Relation between Tongue and Oral Health

Most individuals associate dentists and dental clinic visit only with oral health and tooth care, although this is the tip of the iceberg. As with your teeth and gums, your tongue is an essential element of your oral health that you may need to consider more. If you have problems with your tongue, you may have more significant oral health problems that need your attention if they persist. Our latest post delves into why you should include the tongue in your dental hygiene regimen and the many issues that might arise from ignoring it.  


Did you know that the average size of a human tongue is four inches? Nearly two third of the tongue is typically visible. 


Symptoms of an Unhealthy Tongue

As part of preventative dentistry, which attempts to improve the dental health of all patients, an examination of the tongue can detect problems such as infections, nutritional deficiencies, and abnormal growth. Dentists examine the tongue for any of the following conditions, which might indicate a more serious issue: 


  • White Spots/Covering  

It's normal for a healthy tongue to be pink. However, oral thrush, mouth sores, and leucoplakia are just a few diseases that can cause discoloration, white patches, or a coating of white to develop on the mouth and throat. It's also conceivable that germs have built a white covering. If a simple tongue brush can remove the white spots or coating on the tongue, there is no need for concern. 


  • White Patches

Candida overgrowth in the mouth, commonly known as oral thrush or candidiasis, has been associated with these symptoms. Newborns, expecting ladies, the elderly, those who suffer from dry mouth, those who wear dentures, those using antibiotics, those with compromised immune systems, and those who suffer from illnesses like diabetes are at a higher risk. Anti-fungal medicine is typically effective in curing this. 


  • Geographic Tongue

A condition in which the tongue has a white border and a crimson, spotty appearance is commonly known as "geographic tongue." Although its origin is a mystery, the geographic tongue maintains a genetic connection. This issue might be asymptomatic. Spicy meals can cause discomfort in the affected area and give the impression that they are moving. 


  • Hairy, Darkened Tongue

A black hairy tongue occurs when the papillae (tiny projections found on the tongue's surface) become overgrown, leading to dark staining. Various substances, including cigarette smoke, food, drink, and medication, can leave stains on the overgrown projections. Some causes include: 

  • Not taking proper care of your teeth and gums properly. 
  • Having a dry mouth. 
  • Using cigarettes. 
  • Taking certain drugs. 

A black hairy tongue often disappears when the patient eliminates triggers like cigarettes or retains good oral health.  


  • White Lace Patterned Tongue

When the immune system mistakenly targets cells in your mouth, a pattern of oral lichen planus, a white lacy pattern, may develop on the tongue and inner cheeks. In addition, there may be red, itchy spots. 


  • Yellow Tongue

A yellow tongue may indicate several medical issues, including acid reflux, infection, or the beginning stages of a black hairy tongue. 


  • Pale, Smooth Tongue

A lack of iron in the body, or anemia, can manifest as a pale tongue. 


  • Strawberry Design Tongue

The symptoms of strep throat, food or medication allergies, or Kawasaki illness, an inflammation of the blood vessels, might include a tongue that is swollen and bumpy (the hue and bumps appear a little like a strawberry). 



Most tongue diseases are innocuous and disappear independently or with appropriate dental hygiene, nutrition, hydration, and lifestyle modification like stopping smoking. Sometimes tongue sensations suggest oral cancer, infections, or systemic diseases. If your tongue becomes a strange color, looks odd, or feels uncomfortable or unpleasant, see your dentist or doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. 


Finally: Clean tongues are happy tongues! 

Numerous people take their tongue cleanliness for granted. Your tongue can harbor germs and collect plaque and tartar like anyplace else in your mouth. It can cause tooth decay, infections, and other bacterial-related disorders. Numerous papillae, or bumps, cover the tongue's surface and serve to trap particles of food, dead skin, and germs. These particles are vital to your dental health, but if you don't remove them frequently, they can encourage the growth of germs in your mouth. In addition to the abovementioned issues, halitosis (bad breath) may also develop. It's easy to forget that your tongue is a living, breathing organ while you're in the thick of things, and it may disclose details about our oral health and overall general health even while we indulge in our favorite meals and drinks. 

To know more about the relationship between Tongue and Oral Health, contact your Pinole dentists, Dr. Azadeh Hosseini and Dr. Ghazal Hosseini at Top Pinole Dental.


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*This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition*