Denise Newton, a registered dental hygienist, explains how the tongue can tell a lot about a person's oral health.
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Is it true my tongue can tell a lot about my health? Denise Newton: With all of the patients we always check the tongue and the tissue around the teeth and around the lips and stuff. We check for any type of red lesions, white lesions, any type of marginal in the tongue that we feel shouldn’t be there. A lot of people they will have what we call geographic tongue which they just have spotting of the tongue that is completely normal. It’s just what they were born with. Most of the times it’s kind of just a red discoloration just the tongue kind of varies in color pink or red, but when we see white lesions number one, big, red flag lip we always send for a second opinions on white lesions of the tongue and lesions that are ulcerated, that are real tender to the touch or anything like inside of it is pink, in the borders a little bit red and that type of thing. What can white lesions on the tongue signify? Denise Newton: The biggest indication of some type of oral cancer isn’t ulcerated white lesion. So that white lesions are the biggest thing that we always check for. Most of the times if it is pink it is healthy, in the mouth pink is good. We want the tissue to be pink. We want the tongue to be pink different variations of pink like I say some people that have geographic tongue. Tongue will have different colors of pink in it. That’s completely normal as long as it’s not ulcerated real red or real white.