Why You Should Check Your Tongue Regularly

Why You Should Check Your Tongue Regularly

Taking a thorough look at your mouth regularly is always a good idea. While, rour dental professional checks your mouth at every dental visit, checking at home is vital to catch changes before your next visit. Follow these tips when taking a look at your tongue.

Scalloped Borders Of The Tongue
While this condition is not usually serious, the underlying causes may be. A wavy or scalloped pattern is caused due to your tongue pressing against nearby teeth. If you notice this in the morning, it may indicate that you clench your teeth while sleeping. Another cause is if the tongue is larger than normal due to swelling. If you think that is the case, visit your doctor or dentist for a second opinion.

geographic tongue

Geographic Tongue
While there is no known cause of this, it results in reddish patches on the tongue which may have white borders. The patches can come and go, or move around in position. This condition isn’t reported as painful, however, it may cause a burning sensation in some. Treatment is usually not necessary.

White Coating
This may be due to poor tongue hygiene which in turn leads to build-up of bacteria. Regular cleaning or scaping of the tongue with a tongue cleaner is the best option to prevent this.

A white coating on the tongue may also indicate a yeast infection, also known as candidiasis. With candidiasis, the white areas will not disappear when cleaned or wiped. This condition can be due to certain medications. Those with an immunocompromised system are at risk. Treatment is usually with anti-fungal medications.

Oral Cancer
The only definitive cancer diagnosis is by having the suspected area go through the biopsy process. Things to look for include changes in colour, red or white patches on the tongue that do not heal, swelling or lumps, pain, difficulty swallowing or moving the tongue.

Ensure that you look under your tongue, along with the back and the sides. If you notice suspicious areas that do not go away or heal within a couple of weeks, see your dental or medical professional. Contact us to schedule your visit today.

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