This muscular organ does more than help to churn up food. It’s also an important component in your complete oral health. Most people don’t associate tongues with medical maladies.
That’s why at the office of Mark Helms, DDS, our dental experts pay close attention to your tongue to ensure that it’s healthy. Of course, we also take immaculate care of your teeth and gums. Everyone on our team is a friendly, highly trained specialist who helps you and your family feel comfortable and relaxed, while providing the very best in oral healthcare.
Cancer can show up on tongues. The most conspicuous form of tongue cancer starts in the thin, flat squamous cells that line the tongue’s exterior, where it’s more likely to be perceived. This type of tongue cancer tends to be diagnosed when the cancer is small and more simply removed through surgery.
White patches on your tongue imply that you are a smoker. The patches, which are also called lesions, are made up of the growth of excess cells. There’s a 17 percent chance that they could develop into cancer. Your tongue is actually doing you a favor in that it’s telling you that your prolific consumption of cigarettes is making the cigs’ bad chemicals overproduce the cells that make up those white patches.
If you notice that it looks like cottage cheese is covering your tongue, whether you’re male or female, you probably have a yeast infection called thrush. Thrush crops up for a variety of reasons, but it’s often due to using antibiotics because antibiotics kill certain types of bacteria in your body. (Your body has untold types of “good” bacteria, which are used to keep your body running smoothly.)
Thrush or other kinds of yeast infections upset the normal balance of microorganisms in your mouth. Thrush can cause a disagreeable taste in your mouth and sometimes a little pain. While it sometimes disappears on its own, other times medication in the form of prescription tablets and mouthwash are required.
At the office of Mark Helms, DDS, our compassionate and highly educated staff of professionals enthusiastically provide our patients with personal and superior care in all aspects of your oral health. Whatever your needs, please call us today to schedule an appointment!
By Mark Helms, DDS
September 1, 2021