Tongue Traits That Tell The Truth

Your tongue plays an important role in your development. Beginning in your infant years, licking everything from the floor to your Mom, to your teen years with your first kiss, or even a daring taste of spicy food.

But did you know your tongue can tell you a lot about your oral and overall health?

White Patches

Irritation from smoking or tobacco use can cause a condition called Leukoplakia. This appears in the form of white patches on your tongue. While they are often nothing to worry about it is important to have those white patches checked by your dentist for oral cancer.


A protein build-up can cause small bumps to become elongated trapping food resulting in what looks like strands of hair on your tongue. Typically a good brushing or tongue scraping will take care of it, but if it doesn’t, it’s time to see your dentist.

Overly Red

This is most commonly associated with a vitamin deficiency, such as folic acid or B-12. The solution could be as easy as taking a multivitamin in the morning. Rarely an overly red tongue can be an indicator of Kawasaki disease.

White Coating

Our tongues are supposed to be a shade of pink. When there is a white coating all over it there could be two main causes. First is that you aren’t brushing your tongue well enough. Second, if you are brushing daily and the white coating isn’t coming off it is likely oral thrush.

Tender or Sore

If your tongue feels tender or sore all over you could be having an allergic reaction. Soreness in one spot only could indicate an oncoming canker sore. Soreness should clear up on its own but if it persists it might be time to call us to book your next appointment.