Believe it or not folks, this is blog #50 since we started “chatting” with you on a regular basis. My how time flies! I think celebrating the number 50 has something to do with gold but linking that to dentistry might be a bit of a challenge. Gold teeth do exist and for some they are seen as a status symbol but I think that’s about all the material we can mine about gold. (Did you get that? All the material we can mine…about gold……) But we digress. We are just happy that our regular patients often stop by for a quick browse of our prose and we encourage any new potential patients to review some of our past 49 blogs where we talked about everything from the tooth fairy to teeth whitening and sleep dentistry to Dentophobia. As for today, let’s talk tongues.
What do tongues, teeth and your Dentist all have to do with one another? Well, allow us to explain. Our tongue serves many purposes including of course facilitating the ability to talk, to taste, to eat and more. The movement of the tongue actually also compresses the salivary glands, expressing saliva which initiates the first stage of the digestion process. Additionally, the tongue acts as a first line of defense against bacteria and viral infections that attempt to enter our bodies through the mouth. What does all of this have to do with Dentistry?
Well, Dentists can be your first line of defense in identifying health issues. When was the last time you took a really good look at your tongue? It’s one of those things that is simply “there.” We know it helps us to taste and eat, we might occasionally think to brush it as we brush our teeth but other than that we don’t really pay too much attention to it. What colour is it supposed to be? What if I see a lump on my tongue? Is it worrisome or normal? Let the Dentist be the judge.
A normal healthy tongue will be pink in colour with a possible light white coating. A pale tongue indicates possible issues with iron or B12 deficiencies. A dry or both dry and “furry” tongue is a possible sign of stress and/or too much dairy in the diet (or an intolerance to dairy.) Excessive white patches could be an oral hygiene issue but if brushing doesn’t eliminate them, you could be looking at Candida – or a yeast infection. A rosy red tongue could be a sign of fever among other concerns. Finally, you might experience bumps on your tongue that are temporary in nature but bothersome nonetheless. These could be inflamed taste buds, canker sores or even herpes (cold sores.) Most will go away without treatment and/or you can use over the counter medications to ease the discomfort associated with them. However, for anything that lingers, you want your Dentist to be taking a peek at just what exactly is going on in the mouth. Rarely, such bumps could be a sign of the potential development of a fibroma or a cancerous lesion and your Dental health care practitioner is your first line of defense in identifying and treating issues to do with the tongue.
As always, we caution that our blogs are meant to be informative and that we even strive to occasionally be entertaining. Please keep this in mind as you digest the information we have just provided. It is not intended to be medical advice but an opportunity for you to “stick out your tongue” without getting in trouble from Mom! If you don’t like what you see, schedule a visit with the Brinkley Dental team in Brampton and we’ll take a look at your teeth, mouth, gums and yes, even your tongue. In the meantime, ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”
with: www.reference.com and www.prevention.com