What Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health

Cartoon with people getting their unique tongue prints taken.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

When you think about maintaining your oral health, it’s not just about thoroughly brushing and flossing around your teeth. Your tongue is an essential component of your oral and overall health. In fact, the color and texture of your tongue can be very revealing about the state of your wellbeing. Here’s what your tongue says about your oral health, and how Santa Teresa Smiles can help you improve the health of your smile with our various treatments and services.

What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

A healthy tongue is pink and visibly covered in small nodules called papillae over its surface. However, there are times when your tongue may not appear in a perfectly healthy state.

  • Red — A red tongue is usually a sign of blood disease, inflammation, or an underlying heart condition, among other things.
  • Purple — A purple tongue signals that you may have a circulation issue.
  • Blue — A blue tongue indicates lack of oxygen.
  • White — If your tongue has a thick white coating, this could mean you have oral thrush, which is a fungal infection.
  • Black — If you have a black, swollen tongue, this may be a reaction to antibiotics, smoking, or lack of oral hygiene.

In short, your tongue can tell you quite a few things. First, you may not brushing and flossing your teeth properly. Second, your diet might be imbalanced, which can certainly affect your teeth and gums! Finally, it can indicate that negative habits, like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, are damaging your oral health.

How to Check Your Tongue

If you want to assess your tongue at home, here’s what you should look out for:

  • A very red tongue can indicate vitamin deficiencies.
  • White patches are commonly seen in those who consume tobacco products.
  • Bumps and bumpy patches can appear if you are suffering from a fever.
  • Soreness can be due to food allergies.
  • Protein buildup can cause your tongue to have a hairy texture, which means you should clean or brush your tongue more often.

Comprehensive, Affordable Oral Healthcare in Santa Teresa, NM

Checking your tongue regularly, maintaining a consistent oral healthcare routine, and visiting Santa Teresa Smiles twice a year for thorough cleanings and examinations will help you maintain a sparkling and healthy smile. We proudly provide a range of services to fit your needs including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatments. Additionally we offer flexible financing options to fit your budget. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you!