Your tongue is an amazing muscle that helps you eat, chew, swallow, talk, sip, slurp and sing. Keeping your tongue healthy is just as important as keeping the rest of your mouth in good working order. What are some things to remember to keep your tongue in shape? Here are some tips the dentists at the Yuba City Dentistry Group want you to remember.
Get Regular Examinations
Regular dental check-ups at our Yuba City dental office always include a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and other oral tissues, including your tongue. We are alert to any possible problems with your tongue and want to know if it feels different in any way. Catching potential problems early is the best way to prevent them from worsening, so early intervention is key for diseases of the tongue. The most dangerous of these is oral cancer.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The symptoms to look for in all oral cancers are:
- A sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal;
- A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth;
- Whitish or reddish patches in your mouth;
- Suddenly loose teeth;
- Tongue pain;
- Unexplained jaw pain or stiffness;
- Difficult or painful chewing and swallowing;
- Persistent sore throat;
- Feeling that something is stuck in your throat.
If you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis, please contact the Yuba City Dentistry Group and get checked right away.
Maintaining Your Tongue Health
Brush your tongue when you brush your teeth. This is a quick and easy way to care for your tongue. Some toothbrushes come with a special head that has a tongue brushing surface opposite the bristles. Or you might use a tongue scraper specifically designed for cleaning the tongue. Incorporating this simple habit is highly effective in cutting down on bad breath.
Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. Ceasing tobacco use, especially when it’s regularly mixed with heavy alcohol use, significantly reduces your risk of oral cancer.
Use a mouthguard while playing sports protects your tongue from your teeth. More than one person has bit off a portion of their own tongue due to a sporting collision. While you can use a “boil and bite” mouthguard bought at a local drug or sporting goods store, a custom-made mouthguard is far superior. Its better fit leads to significantly improved protection.
Oral piercings are not recommended for a healthy tongue. Avoid a tongue piercing to keep this organ free from infection, scarring and damage. Losing your tongue is a documented “worst case scenario” side effect caused by oral piercings. That’s without mention of the guaranteed damage that strikes the teeth and gums from oral piercings.
You only get one tongue! Help it last for a lifetime of chewing and eating, whistling and kissing! Keep your whole mouth healthy, including your tongue, by making an appointment for an exam and cleaning with the Yuba City Dentistry Group!