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What Your Tongue Can Tell Your About Your Overall Health

Child's tongue with tongue brushIt may surprise you to learn that there are a number of conditions that can manifest on your child’s tongue! This is why it’s important to make sure that a tongue inspection is part of your oral hygiene routine, to check for signs of a problem so you can make an appointment. Additionally, tongue pain is something that you should take seriously if your child complains about it.

What Tongue Problems Can Mean

Below are a few common tongue problems and what they might mean for your child’s overall health:

  • Cottage cheese texture – If your child’s tongue appears to be coated in a lumpy, white substance, he or she may be suffering from an oral yeast infection known as thrush. Thrush is common in children, those with diabetes, and chemotherapy patients. If your child has thrush, he or she needs to visit the doctor.
  • Strawberry red tongue – If your child’s tongue looks bright red and glossy in texture, it could point to a vitamin B12 or iron deficiency. If your child has a strawberry red tongue, be sure to ask his or her pediatrician about vitamin supplements.
  • Black or brown tongue – The appearance of black or brown fuzz on the tongue can be an indicator of bad oral hygiene. While not usually a cause for concern, black or brown fuzz on the tongue can be distressing. Brush your child’s tongue or use a tongue scraper to remove the buildup and schedule a cleaning here at Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry.
  • Wrinkles – Cracks, wrinkles, or fissures on the tongue are usually harmless, but if your child isn’t practicing good oral hygiene habits, it’s possible for problems to arise. Food can build up inside the crevices, leading a fungal infection in the tongue.

If you’re concerned about your child’s tongue or if he or she is showing signs of the above tongue issues, please contact Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry today. Our children’s dental office is located here in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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