As long an everything is working well and we’re feeling physically fit and able to maintain our everyday lifestyle we tend to take our good health for granted. The tongue for instance, is a multi-purpose organ that we use all day, every day. It enables us to speak clearly and taste and swallow our food but when something goes wrong it can be extremely distressful. Unfortunately, there are a number of conditions that can keep the tongue from functioning properly. The good news is that most of them are easy to treat.

A coating of white over the tongue used to be considered a defining sign of general illness. The condition known officially as “leukoplakia” is actually caused by an irritation and is often associated with tobacco use. Candidiasis is another disorder of the tongue more commonly known as “thrush.” It is a yeast infection which presents with spotty clusters on the surface of the tongue and most often affects young children. In adults, thrush may be an indication of an underlying cause.

A healthy tongue is normally pink in color so when your dentist notices an extraordinary redness he may suspect a vitamin deficiency and recommend that you add more folic acid or vitamin D to your diet. Fish and dairy products are good sources of both.

“Geographic tongue” is so called because the symptomatic red spots form a pattern over the tongue that seems to resemble the shape of a road map. These harmless lesions usually disappear within a week or so but if they do persist consult with your dentist.

Canker sores can also be caused by a lack of one or more vitamins including D and B12. They can also be a symptom of a gastronomical syndrome such as colitis. Canker sores can be quite painful but in most cases will heal well without special treatment. Citrus drinks or acidic foods may irritate the condition.

Is it time for your regular dental checkup? Call Spokane Valley Dentistry @ 509-926-6261 to make your appointment. The friendly staff will make every effort to accommodate your busy schedule.