man brushing teeth and tongueDid you know that you can tell a lot about your oral health by inspecting your tongue? For example, a white coating on your tongue could indicate that you have oral thrush. Your tongue should appear a healthy pink color but could become coated in white film due to an overgrowth of yeast in your oral cavities. Brushing your tongue every time you brush your teeth is the best way to prevent this common oral health issue.

Your tongue also plays an essential role in your ability to taste and break down food so you can swallow it. Good oral health means that your teeth, gums, jaws, and tongue are all in good shape. We outline a few other common tongue health issues below.

Red and Bumpy Patches on the Tongue

Looking at your tongue in the mirror and seeing it has turned from pink to red and that tiny bumps have developed is often a sign of fever. We recommend that you take your temperature even if you do not feel warm to the touch. The sooner you know of an illness, the sooner you can treat it and get back to normal.

Bright Red Tongue

Vitamin deficiency is the most common reason for a tongue to turn bright red without any bumps. This is especially true when you do not consume enough folic acid or Vitamin B12. Fortunately, the problem is easy enough to resolve by picking up some vitamin supplements. Be sure to schedule a medical appointment if the redness remains after increasing your vitamin consumptions since this could indicate Kowalski’s disease.

Tongue is Sore or Tender

A tongue that feels sore or tender in one spot or all over usually isn’t cause for immediate concern. The most likely reason is that you are developing a canker sore or a new food allergy. If the discomfort remains after treating a canker sore or avoiding certain foods, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at the Cherry Creek Family Dentistry office.

Hair on the Tongue

If you consume foods with a lot of protein, the remnants of the protein can remain on your tongue and cause small hairs to grow. The problem with this is that it traps food and makes it more challenging for you to keep your mouth clean. Brushing or scrubbing your tongue is usually all it takes to get rid of these small tongue hairs.

A Healthy Tongue is Important

The dentists at Cherry Creek Family Dentistry always include a tongue inspection when you come in for a routine cleaning and exam. Your dentist will alert you to any issues and let you know the best options for treating it. We also encourage you to schedule an appointment if you have concerns about tongue health or have not had a preventive care exam in the last six months. Cherry Creek Family Dentistry has a convenient location in Littleton, Colorado. You may reach our office at 303-321-1323 or complete this appointment request form.