tongue may indicate a dental health issue

How Your Tongue May Indicate Dental Health Issues

Your tongue can be an indicator of a dental problem. Your dentist will assess the health of your tongue during a routine appointment for signs of oral health problems and infections.

Key takeaways:

  • A red or shiny tongue can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency, such as iron which helps keep teeth strong and healthy. 
  • Oral thrush can be indicated by a tongue which has patches or is creamy in appearance, and the infection can affect other soft tissues in the mouth without treatment.
  • A yellow or fuzzy tongue can be a sign of a build-up of bacteria, which could lead to plaque and bad breath.

“Although not generally bad for your oral health, a tongue that appears yellow or feels fuzzy may mean a buildup of bacteria. You should be cleaning your tongue just like you clean your teeth by gently brushing it.”

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Matthew Houlton BDS(Sheffield) MFGDP(UK)

I’m Matthew Houlton, principal dentist and practice owner of Manor House Dental Practice.

Qualified from Sheffield dental hospital in 1993.

Post graduate training with Paul Tipton (Specialist Prosthodontist) from 2005-2007.

Diploma for Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) 2007.

Special interest in Orthodontics.

Yorkshire Deanary Fixed Appliance Training Scheme 2002-2004.

I have worked at York Hospital’s orthodontic department one session a week since 2009.

Member of the British Society of Occlusal Studies (the study of temporomandibular disorder).

I have two children, who keep me busy when I am not at the practice. I take a keen interest in and teach Aikido, a martial art, to keep a healthy mind and body.