People most visit their dentist for one of two reasons; either because they are in tooth pain and want relief, or the visit is part of their routine dental care. In other words, they come into the office to keep their teeth healthy.
But, did you know we dentists aren’t just looking at your teeth and gums to tell us if there is a problem or not? That’s right. We look at your tongue for answers about your overall health, which by the way, can also have a great impact on your teeth and gums.
Take a Good Look at Your Tongue
As your dentist, I am not just concerned with your teeth and gums. I am also concerned about your overall health, which is why I may be the first person to notice mild health concerns that could indicate additional medical tests or treatments may be needed. So what does looking at your tongue reveal? To begin with, a normal tongue looks reddish in color, is flexible and has a thin, white layer and it is neither too moist nor too dry.
Here are four tongue colors that could indicate a medical concerns:
- Bright Red: Could indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency,
- Purple: Could indicate blood stasis, which is a slowing or pooling of blood. This could signal a cardiac, liver or kidney condition.
- Pale or Yellow: Could indicate a problem with your liver or gallbladder.
- Pale Pink to White: Could indicate anemia
What the Coating on Your Tongue Reveals
Sometimes it is not the color of the tongue that is a problem as much as it is the coating on top of the tongue. Before you get all grossed out, keep in mind that a normal healthy tongue has a very slight white coating to it.
Here are three color coatings of the tongue that could indicate a medical concern:
- Thick White: This could be an indication of oral thrush or candidiasis.
- Black or Hairy: Although harmless, it is the result of a buildup of dead skin cells on the numerous tiny projections (papillae) on the surface of your tongue.
Think of your tongue as muscle used to help you chew, taste, swallow and speak. This muscle can serve to tell us about your overall well-being. It can also provide clues into early health detection of possible medical concerns and/or illnesses.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Just two minutes of teeth cleaning twice a day, flossing and mouth-washing every day, supported with regular trips to the dentist and hygienist will help keep your teeth fit for a lifetime.
To learn more about the cosmetic and restorative dental options available for improving your oral health, gums and teeth Click Here.
Or call Dr. Patty’s Dental Boutique at (954) 524-2300 or Toll-Free at 1 (855) 377-2889.
Mayo Clinic – Yellow Tongue Symptoms
WebMD – Tongue Problem Basics
Acupuncture.com – Tongue Inspection: How’s Your Health?
Image Credits: Mouth Healthy