What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Overall Dental Health

Even without using it to say a word, your tongue can tell you quite a bit when it comes to your overall dental health. In fact, once you start to take a closer look at your tongue’s color, texture, and even its patterns, you may be amazed at what you learn. If you’re curious as to what your tongue is trying to tell you about your oral health, here are some things to look for the next time you stick out your tongue in front of a mirror.

White Coating

If you look at your tongue and notice a white coating, this usually means you have an excess buildup of food debris and plaque bacteria. In most cases, a white coating on your tongue is usually linked to people who suffer from dry mouth or have poor oral hygiene habits. By brushing and flossing more frequently, this usually disappears.

What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Overall Dental Health

White Patches

Should you notice white patches on your tongue rather than a white coating, it may mean you have an overgrowth of yeast in your mouth. While this may sound gross, it is very common in many groups of people, such as:

  • Elderly
  • Pregnant women
  • Denture wearers
  • Diabetics
  • Individuals on antibiotics

A problem many dentists are familiar with, this condition is often easily treated with various types of anti-fungal medications.

Yellow-tinted Tongue

Believe it or not, your tongue can sometimes develop a yellowish tint. If it does, this usually points to you having either an infection or perhaps suffering with acid reflux. Since it is always crucial to have an infection treated as quickly as possible, make an appointment with dentists you know and trust.

Pale Tongue

When your tongue is not it’s usually perky pink color and instead appears to be very pale, you should take this seriously. In many cases, a pale tongue may be a strong sign you are suffering from low iron levels or anemia. To have this confirmed and treated if necessary, you should consult a physician.

White Lacy Pattern

Finally, should your tongue appear to have a white lacy pattern on its surface, this can mean your body’s immune system is at war with the cells in your mouth. Since this can sometimes be an indication of oral cancer, always have experienced dentists take a closer look.

By paying careful attention to your tongue and taking the time to brush it now and then, you can improve your oral hygiene and likely avoid many of the above-mentioned issues.

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