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Applecross Dentist Post: Look to Your Tongue for Insight to Your Health

We rarely notice it, but our tongue can give us an important understanding of what is happening in our bodies?

You may only look at your tongue after completing your oral health routine, and only to check for any ulcers or to pull funny faces. The tongue is actually a great tool for analysing what your body is doing, what it is lacking and what issues may be lurking unnoticed. At Image Dental located in Applecross we look at the whole mouth while conducting oral health checks, and look for any signs of decay, periodontal disease or oral cancer. While we can see these issues by poking around your mouth, your tongue can actually tell us even more.

How your tongue provides a gateway to your health?

In Chinese medicine, they believe the tongue reflects disease in the body, and there are many studies that back up this theory. While we can help you with oral issues, if you think there may be something more sinister at play, we recommend seeing your GP or a qualified otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist).

Some main issues seen in the tongue and what they might mean?

At Image Dental in Applecross, we have done our research on the role the tongue plays in giving insight to our health, and have come up with the main issues related to the appearance of the tongue. We stress that this as not medical advice, and if you feel you may be suffering from a sickness or condition that you contact your GP.

A white coating over your tongue?

If you tongue is looking slightly white, whether in patches or completely, it is a strong indication that there may be an infection present on the tongue, for instance an overgrowth of bacteria. A common cause for this is thrush, where a yeast bacterium becomes overgrown within the mouth.

A darkening of the tongue?

When your tongue is healthy, it will be a warm pinkish colour. If yours is darker, such as brown or even black, it could be an insight into your health. Most likely, your diet or lifestyle choices will be the cause of this. Some causes of darker tongues consist of:

  • Some medications
  • Drinking large amounts of coffee
  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco

A dark tongue is usually not permanent, and can be brushed away after just a few days, but it is an important sign to look to your diet and lifestyle choices and what they could be doing to your body. It is also important to note that chewing or smoking tobacco highly increases your risk of oral cancer.

Lumps and bumps along the tongue?

Lumps or bumps on the tongue are normal, when it comes to our tiny tastebuds that tend to stick out slightly from the tongue. If you notice other lumps or bumps that are inflamed, red or sore, it is important to keep an eye on these as if they do not go away within 10 days, it could be a sign of oral cancer.

At Image Dental in Perth we are dedicated to your oral health, and conduct full and comprehensive dental check-ups. We will do whatever we can so you can keep your natural teeth for life.

To discover more about our general dentistry check-ups or to book an appointment at our Applecross dental practice, please do not hesitate to contact us.