5 Secrets Your Tongue Reveals About Your Health

Grab a mirror, open up, and say “ah” because we’re talking tongues today. Did you know the color and even the shape of your tongue can say a lot about what could be going on healthwise in the rest of your body? Our dental office in Boerne (and your primary care doctor too) are always on the lookout for signs or symptoms that your tongue may be trying to tell us! Check out these helpful tips about tongue health to learn more.

What You See: A Glossy, Raspberry Red Tongue

What it Means: Have you ever looked at your tongue and it looks like you just finished eating a strawberry or raspberry popsicle? This is actually a common side effect of having a vitamin deficiency – primarily B12. It can also indicate that your body is low on iron. Vegetarians are especially prone to this.

What You See: Wrinkles

What it Means: As we age, our tongues do too! A cracked or wrinkled appearance to your tongue is generally nothing to worry about. It’s very important to maintain good hygiene and brush your tongue to avoid infections in the wrinkles.

What You See: Painless, White Patches

What it Means: These white marks known as leukoplakia are usually caused by the growth of too many cells in one area. Sometimes they are a result of an accidental bite while we’re chewing food or maybe you have a tooth that’s rubbing you the wrong way. If you’re experiencing these kinds of patches or any other tongue troubles, it’s always good to give your dentist in Boerne a call to take a look!

What You See: Painful Sores

What it Means: Usually when we see patients with a sore on their tongue they all have one thing in common: they’re stressed. Sometimes when you’re run down from illness or everyday stress this causes canker sores to erupt on the tongue and cheeks. They’re usually painful for a few days and will subside within a week or two.

What You See: Unevenness, Peaks, and Valleys

What it Means: It may sound strange but there’s actually a common condition called “geographic tongue,” and it’s absolutely harmless. It makes your tongue look like it has some pretty bumpy, rough terrain and it’s actually known to affect up to 14% of the population. Doctors aren’t sure what causes the condition but it most likely has something to do with your taste buds. Geographic tongue doesn’t require any special treatment or medication. If it becomes painful, be sure to talk to your dentist.

Our Boerne dental office knows how important it is to keep a close eye on your teeth and your tongue because they’re pretty accurate indicators of other things that your body might be experiencing or trying to make you aware of. If you have any questions about the health of your tongue, please call!

A Few Facts About Your Bottled Water

By now you probably know that the human body is made up of mostly water, and we need to drink plenty of it each day just to keep our organs and other important parts functioning properly. At my dental office in Boerne, we understand how important it is to stay hydrated at home, at work, and on the go. That’s why it’s super easy and convenient to grab a water bottle or bottled water and keep on chugging along. Bottled water has surged in popularity over the years for a variety of reasons. But did you know that if you and your family drink solely bottled water and no tap water, you may be missing out on fluoride?

Water, Water Everywhere

Water is essential to your body. You cannot live without it. Did you know it’s responsible for maintaining all of these things?

  • Transportation of nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • Waste removal
  • Cushioning of your joints
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Alleviating xerostomia or dry mouth

Experts recommend that you drink about 8 to 10 cups of water daily! This may change due to weather (hot temperatures) or your body size.

The Facts About Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been proven to help prevent the onset of tooth decay. It helps protect your teeth’s enamel from the damaging effects of sugars and acids found in so many of the foods and drinks available to us each day. Most public water systems have some level of fluoridation. This could occur naturally or some communities will add a small amount of fluoride to the water system to ensure residents absorb its benefits. There are some bottled waters that contain fluoride too, but most do not.

How Do You Know You’re Getting Enough Fluoride?

No matter what kind of bottled water you and your family chooses to drink, your Boerne dentist wants to make sure you’re getting enough fluoride in your diet to help keep teeth strong and healthy. If you’re drinking mostly bottled water be sure to try and choose a brand that contains some amount of fluoride. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require companies to show how much fluoride is added to bottled water, unless it’s been intentionally added. If you want to find out how much fluoride is in your bottled water brand, it’s best to contact the company directly and request that information. The American Dental Association says water should have around 0.7 to 1.2 ppm of fluoride, with one ppm being equal to 1 mg/L.

It’s always a good idea to make sure you take whatever steps you can to keep teeth happy and healthy. This means making sure you’re getting enough fluoride. Don’t forget that most kinds of toothpastes contain fluoride too, which can give your teeth a boost in fighting off bacteria causing decay. Do you have questions about fluoride? My Boerne dental office can help. We’re ready to listen to your questions and your concerns. Just give us a call!