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When Was the Last Time You Looked at Your Tongue?

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I mean it. Of course, I see tongues all the time.  They vary.  People with large tongues often have “scalloped edges” from pressing against the teeth when their mouth is closed.  Other folks have a deep cleft down the middle of their tongue, which opens up when they fully extend them.  Some have a “coating” from certain foods or a dark brown patch from smoking. Chewing tobacco leaves a mark wherever it is “stored”.

Geographic Tongue is characterized by irregular patches, often smooth and redder than most areas, on the top of the tongue.  These patches change in size, shape, and location.  Some people experience pain or a burning sensation from the patches, but this occurs mostly after eating acidic and spicy foods. But since most of us haven’t stuck our tongues at people since third grade (let’s hope), many patients don’t even know that they have a geographic tongue. I’ve been the first to tell them! The changes to the tongue include red smooth patches with raised edges, that move around the tongue.  They can last anywhere from days to weeks, and sometimes years. Similarly, these patches can just disappear for a while. If you have lesions that don’t resolve after about 10 days, you should see a doctor. 

The condition of your tongue indicates underlying health problems, at times.  Now you know why we tug and palpate around your tongue and throat.

At Winterset Dental, we even care about your tongue.