What Causes a Scalloped Tongue

Scalloped Tongue Causes:

1) You have a congenital defect in the way your mouth works.

If you are born with a cleft lip or palate, it will cause some of your teeth to be missing from one side. These teeth can’t grow properly on their own because they don’t fit into the space left behind by the missing tooth. This leaves you with a gap between your two front teeth which is called a “scallop.” Your tongue may look like a long piece of fish skin stretched over your upper lip.

Sometimes the scallops are so big that they completely cover the lower part of your lips.

2) A tumor grows inside your mouth.

Tumors are growths in different parts of the body. They can be benign (noncancerous), malignant (cancerous), or both. Some tumors require surgery to remove them, while others can be treated with medication and radiation therapy.

3) You swallow something foreign that could damage your gums.

Foreign objects can enter your stomach through your throat when you cough, sneeze, or vomit. Common things that can do this include bacteria, viruses, worms, and even food particles such as dust mites. Most of these foreign bodies pass right out of the body without causing any harm to the rest of us.

But sometimes they cause problems for those with certain types of cancer.

When to call your doctor:

Seek emergency medical care if you have any signs of choking. These signs include being unable to speak, cough, or breathe.

You should contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

1) You notice a lump on your neck.

2) You experience pain or swelling in your face or neck.

3) You lose weight for no reason, or have trouble swallowing.

4) You have trouble breathing or feel short of breath.

5) You have any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.

6) You have persistent bad breath.

7) You have sores that will not heal on your lips or inside of your mouth.

8) You have unsightly white or yellow patches inside of your mouth, or under your tongue.

These may be signs of a more serious condition.

9) You have a mouth or tooth infection.

10) You have a decreased sense of taste or smell.

Your doctor can treat the underlying condition and provide you with information about how to take better care of your teeth and gums. He or she may also refer you to an endocrinologist, otolaryngologist, or dentist for further evaluation and treatment.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions to help you avoid dry mouth:

1) Drink lots of water.

This helps keep your mouth moist and can prevent bacteria from growing.

2) Avoid acidic drinks such as coffee, soda (including diet soda), and juice.

These can erode your tooth enamel over time.

3) Cut back on or avoid alcohol.

Alcohol dries out your mouth almost immediately.

4) Don’t smoke.

This can cause dry mouth and a host of other medical problems.

5) Use a humidifier in your home.

The air inside is typically drier than the air outside. This causes your mouth to dry out, which can lead to painful cracks in your mouth.

6) Brush and floss daily.

Cleaning your teeth keeps bacteria from building up and causing bad breath.

7) Visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and check-up.

8) Use over-the-counter products to relieve dryness, such as Orajel or Anbesol.

These are typically safe for long-term use. Do not use prescription strength dry mouth medicines unless your dentist or doctor has recommended them.

As with any condition, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you notice any changes in the appearance or feel of your mouth or teeth.

Also, if you have any of the risk factors listed above or notice any changes in a child who is under your care, make an appointment to see a dentist as soon as possible.

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Sources & references used in this article:

Scalloped tongue: A rare finding in nocturnal bruxism by KV Vinod, P Reddy, VM Pillai – The National medical journal of India, 2017 – nmji.in

Scalloped tongue is associated with nocturnal intermittent hypoxia among community‐dwelling Japanese: the Toon Health Study by K Tomooka, T Tanigawa, S Sakurai… – Journal of Oral …, 2017 – Wiley Online Library

Prevalence of geographic tongue and related predisposing factors in 7-18 year-old students in Kermanshah, Iran 2014 by F Rezaei, M Safarzadeh, H Mozafari… – Global journal of health …, 2015 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov