The Sacramento Dentistry Group Replies: Is My Tongue Healthy?

What does a healthy tongue look like? What are signs of disease in the tongue? What can I do to keep my tongue healthy? All of these questions are considered in this article about the characteristics of a healthy tongue.

A patient recently queried about how to determine if their tongue is healthy. An examination of the tongue is a routine part of any dental visit. As a result, dentists are often the first to find signs of disease in a patient’s tongue. What should you look for to determine if your tongue is healthy and how can you keep it that way?

A Healthy Tongue

First, consider your tongue’s color. It should be pink to red. If it’s any other color, it may be a sign of infection or disease. It may also just be geographic tongue, a benign condition that is alarming, but harmless. Nevertheless, if your tongue starts to assume a new color, check with your dentist or doctor immediately.

Likewise, a hairy coating on the tongue is not normal and is a symptom of different forms of infection. For example, it may be caused by an extended course of antibiotics leading to fungal growth. All forms of hairy tongue deserve immediate attention.

The upper surface of the tongue is somewhat rough due to the papillae. A majority of these small projections contain the taste buds, enabling the tongue to detect the flavor of foods. The underside of the tongue is smooth and blood vessels may be evident. This is normal.

A smooth upper tongue is not normal, however, and may be a sign of deficiency or swelling. Also, there should not be furrows in the tongue, nor should ulcers be evident. Visit your doctor or dentist if you see any of these signs for a specific diagnosis.

Keeping the Tongue Healthy

To keep the tongue healthy, it must be brushed regularly, just like the teeth. Most people care for this right after they finish brushing their teeth. Tongue scrapers are also available, but an ordinary toothbrush accomplishes this job just fine. Cleaning the tongue keeps dead cells and food from collecting between the papillae.

Cold sores and oral lesions are annoying conditions that may affect the tongue. These can be prevented from even occurring by means of laser treatments available at the office of the Sacramento Dentistry Group. Also, avoid piercing the tongue, as it leads to complications.

For more information about the tongue, symptoms of tongue problems and help treating its disorders, feel free to contact the Sacramento Dentistry Group at 916-538-6900 or by visiting

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group

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