The tongue is an important organ made up from many groups of muscles. We use it to talk, taste, swallow and chew, it holds food in place and sends vital messages to the central nervous system reporting on changes within the mouth. However, it does all of this instantly and without any thought from us and because of this its important role in maintaining oral health can often be overlooked and underestimated, leading to not-so-pleasant consequences.
Looking after the health of your tongue
Your tongue should be treated with the same amount of care and upkeep as you’d give your teeth and gums. Just as you would clean the rest of your mouth, the tongue needs cleaning too. This is because, contrary to how it may look, the tongue is not smooth and is in fact covered in tiny, barely visible bumps called ‘papillae.’ These bumps are bacteria hotspots and if not regularly cleaned, the bacteria that build there can cause halitosis, affect your sense of taste and can even spread to other parts of the mouth, leading to a number of different infections that can lead to tooth decay, gum recession and even tooth loss.
Tongue cancer signs and symptoms
Unfortunately tongues are no less susceptible to developing cancer than other parts of the body and noticing the problem before it has advanced can be the difference between life and death. This is why it’s important to check the tongue regularly to see if there any irregular cuts, abrasions or swelling. I suggest sticking your tongue out in front of your bathroom mirror and swirling it around to get a good look from all sides, top, bottom and side to side. If you do notice anything out of the ordinary, consult your doctor immediately. For more advice on looking after your oral health contact us at City Dental Leeds.