It may not immediately occur to you, but your tongue can actually tell us a lot about the state of your oral health. It is one of the reasons we get patients to open their mouths and stick out their tongue: it means that we can inspect it before we take a look at anything else.
The tongue itself is a pretty amazing muscle as it does a lot of work and never gets tired. Since it helps to filter out bad germs, we can find out a lot.
Inspecting the TongueThere are a variety of things that can appear on the tongue which will give us indicators of a patient's oral health. If white patches appear on the tongue, it can often be an indication that you have an overgrowth of candida which is a type of yeast fungus.
This tends to be common in children. A striped tongue is an indication of oral lichen planus, which means that your immune system is fighting off cells in the mouth. Although not a certain sign, it can be an indicator that you have gum disease.
If there are indentations or ridges on the tongue, it can be a sign that you are grinding your teeth (whether while awake or in your sleep). Of course, it can also be an indication that you have a fissured tongue, but this normally is nothing to worry about.
A black, hairy tongue may be an indication of something more serious, so if your tongue appears to look like this you should come and see us as soon as possible. We are always on hand to answer any more questions if you feel the need, so just make sure to arrange an appointment soon.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (708) 456-7787 today.