Stick Out Your Tongue!

St. Louis oral cancer examsAt Town and Country Cosmetic Dentistry and Implant Center, we diagnose and treat conditions of the teeth and gums. These conditions can affect the tongue. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the tongue.

Have you ever considered all the critical things your tongue can do? It helps us talk, perceive the texture and flavor of food, chew, and swallow.

This strong and nimble gymnast is in near-constant motion during our waking hours. It is a wonder that we don’t accidentally bite it more often!

Your tongue can also reveal physical problems. These may include digestive issues, infections, and diseases of the blood. For this reason, the tongue is always looked at during exams.

Here are some tongue abnormalities and possible causes:

  • Swollen tongue: reaction to food/drink/medication, strep infection, leukemia, hypothyroidism
  • White tongue: dehydration, yeast infection, irritation to tobacco, enteritis, gastritis, colitis, anemia, or other nutritional deficiency
  • Canker sores: may be triggered by stress or reaction to food, toothpaste, or mouthwash.

If you have persistent canker sores, you may want to try cutting out products that contain sodium lauryl (or laurel) sulfate (SLS). SLS is a foaming agent that is found in many personal care products. It can be difficult to find SLS-free dental products.

The following brands of toothpaste have previously offered SLS-free versions, but read the label carefully every time you buy a new tube. SLS may re-appear, and it won’t necessarily be obvious.

  • Biotene
  • Sensodyne Pronamel
  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Rembrandt Low Abrasion

If you can’t find an SLS-free toothpaste at your local grocery store, I would suggest trying health food stores, specialty drug stores, or trusted online sites.

At Town and Country Cosmetic Dentistry and Implant Center, we want all our patients to have clean and healthy teeth and gums, and the oral care products you use make a difference. Our servides include general and restorative dentistry. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Town and Country Cosmetic Dentistry and Implant Center:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

14377 Woodlake Dr Ste 205
Chesterfield, Missouri


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