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Dentist in Richmond, VA decodes your tongue concerns

When you think about signs that show whether you are healthy or not, your tongue is probably not the first thing that comes to mind! But there are several warning signs your tongue could be sending about your oral health and your health in general. Dr. Olivia Hart, a biological dentist in Richmond, VA, can help you decode the signs and symptoms of various tongue diseases & disorders, treat your tongue concern, and educate you on what your tongue says about your dental problems and health overall.

Sore tongue

A variety of issues can cause your tongue to be sore, so it can be hard to determine the right sore tongue cure at home without a diagnosis. For example, pain in one area of your tongue may be due to canker sores, injury, or infection, whereas an overall sensation of pain or burning could be due to oral cancer, hormonal changes, or irritants. If you are suffering from an ongoing sore mouth or tongue, Dr. Hart can examine your entire mouth to determine the underlying cause and recommend the best sore mouth and tongue treatment for your specific needs. In some cases, a change in diet may be all that is needed to stop your pain, whereas, in others, targeted homeopathic remedies or other treatments may be necessary to help resolve your symptoms.

Hole in tongue: Could it be tongue cancer?

While a hole in your tongue is scary, the good news is that it is most likely not cancer. Though tongue cancer does occur, it only accounts for one percent of new cancers diagnosed each year in the United States. If you see what looks like a hole in your tongue, it may be there because of an injury, or it could be something that just looks like a hole, but is something else, such as:

  • A canker sore
  • A fissured tongue, which is a benign condition that makes the top of your tongue look like it has cracks and grooves
  • An infection such as syphilis, which can cause sores on your tongue

Dr. Hart will evaluate your tongue to ensure that there is no cause for concern and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Geographic tongue: Symptoms and causes

If your tongue appears spotty, patchy, or like it has red, raised sections, you may have what is called "geographic tongue." The patches on the tongue can make it look like a map, hence the name "geographic tongue," and the patches may change locations over time. It is not known what causes this condition, but while it can look scary, it is harmless and usually dissipates on its own over time.

Other health issues your tongue can reveal

In addition to oral health problems, your tongue can reveal important information about the health of the rest of your body. For example, a red tongue can be a sign of a deficiency in folic acid, iron, or vitamin B12, scarlet fever, or Kawasaki disease, a serious health condition that requires medical attention immediately. Other colors, textures, and visual cues on the tongue can also indicate imbalances in the body or other health conditions.


If you are concerned about your tongue's appearance or if it is painful or sore, we encourage you to talk to Dr. Hart about it during an evaluation. Call Richmond Family Dentistry today at (804) 381-6238 or email us at info@richmondfamilydentistry.com.

Tongue Concern Richmond VA

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First of all... The best dentists! Second, the practice has a spa type atmosphere; much less intimidating than a regular dental office.
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