Talking, chewing, tasting, and swallowing would all be completely different functions without your tongue. Though it’s a versatile and necessary part of daily life, your tongue can also serve as a window into your overall wellness.
An exam at Restora Dental Arts in Austin, Texas, includes an examination of your tongue and its inherent health indicators. While it may play second fiddle to your teeth and gums, the tongue plays essential roles in virtually every mouth function.
We’ve prepared this guide to provide better understanding of what your tongue can reveal about your health.
The tongue’s role
Your tongue is central to your life in many ways. It’s a large muscular organ that assists the early stages of the digestive process as it moves food around your mouth during chewing before moving food to swallow. .
Formation of vocal sounds depends on the way your tongue articulates air that’s shaped by the vocal cords, and you couldn’t taste without the 2,000 taste buds covering its surface.
The size and location of your tongue plays a potentially negative role too. It’s possible for the relaxation of tongue tissue to block airways, typically when you have a condition called sleep apnea.
The tongue and your health
Certain conditions of the tongue that you might experience can suggest illnesses. Discuss any tongue symptoms you may be experiencing with AnnMarie Olson, DDS, or Kacie Culotta, DDS, such as numbness, loss of taste, or restricted movement.
These could be related to allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders, hormonal changes, or the use of certain medications.
We also perform a visual examination of the tongue to identify any irregularities. Usually, your tongue is a healthy pink color. Changes may suggest health issues. If your tongue is lighter, darker, or discolored, it can suggest several different health issues, including:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Autoimmune disorders
- Fungal infections including thrush
As well, we inspect any lesions on your tongue to rule out oral cancer and to assess mild traumas (biting or burns to your tongue) or cold sores, such as those caused by the herpes simplex virus.
As your partners in oral care, we give your tongue the time and attention it needs to assure your continued good health. Call our Austin office at 512-212-5213 to book an appointment, email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org, or click the schedule now button here on our website.
Regular dental care is an important part of your overall wellness, so schedule your next visit today.