How much do you know about your tongue when it comes to preventive care? Do you know how to best clean your tongue, whether you even need to clean your tongue, or how to determine when your tongue is letting you know something isn’t quite right? Since you likely spend most of your energy dedicated to your teeth and gums, we thought we would provide you with some answers to questions frequently asked about this portion of your oral cavity.
Questions and Answers About Your Tongue
Question: Should I clean my tongue? Do I need to do something special to achieve this?
Answer: Yes, you should certainly clean your tongue every day. This is easy to achieve – simply brush your tongue during your daily dental hygiene brushing session. Don’t use too much force – just light pressure with a sweeping motion is all it takes.
Question: Why do I see what look like indented areas along my tongue border? Is this normal?
Answer: Indentations along your tongue may point to a bruxism problem. Bruxism is a disorder that occurs when you clench or grind your teeth together. During a preventive care visit, we will recognize this indented appearance, check thoroughly for bruxism, and suggest comfortable treatment if necessary.
Question: What does it mean if my tongue hurts or I feel like I have trouble moving it?
Answer: A painful or somewhat stiff tongue is often a symptom of oral cancer. Fortunately, we screen you during your six-month preventive care dental checkups for oral cancer, so we may offer treatment immediately if precancerous changes develop. However, we urge you to contact us between appointments if you notice changes to your tongue or other tissues.