Have you been feeling a little off or just not yourself? When you’re not your best, you might be able to figure out why by simply sticking out your tongue. When you visit my dental office in Sparks, we’re always on the lookout for any bumps or discolorations, just like your primary care doctor. Here are a few reasons why you should always keep an eye on your tongue and discuss any changes with us!
What to Look For
Bumps, cracks, discolorations, lines, even “hairs” – these are all things you’ll want to keep a keen eye on when you stick out your tongue and take a look. Make it a habit of checking out your tongue every day when you brush your teeth. Take a moment, open up, and say “ahh.” If you notice any unusual symptoms that seem to persist for more than two weeks, it’s a good idea to give your dentist in Sparks a call.
What Does Your Tongue Look Like?
If your tongue is healthy it will be covered with small papillae or nodules and be a nice healthy shade of pink. If you see something out of the ordinary or have pain, it may indicate a problem. Here are some things to be on the lookout for:
1) A Sore Bumpy Tongue
Oral Cancer – If you ever have a lump or bump on your tongue that persists for more than two weeks, it’s important to have it checked out as it could be an early sign of oral cancer. Oftentimes, oral cancer doesn’t cause pain in its most earliest stages.
Smoking, Canker Sores, Trauma – All of these things can also cause irritation to your tongue. If you’re experiencing pain, call your doctor.
Vitamin Deficiency – You might need more B12 or folic acid if there’s an intense redness to your tongue.
Geographic Tongue – This is usually characterized by redness and patches with white borders around them and generally harmless.
Scarlet Fever – A bright red appearance with bumps could indicate scarlet fever. It’s important to treat this condition with antibiotics.
3) White Coating or White Spots
Leukoplakia – This condition causes cells on the tongue to grow at an extremely rapid pace. We usually see this occur when someone uses tobacco products and can be a warning sign for cancer. However, it is generally not harmful. If you think you’re experiencing leukoplakia, it’s best to give us a call!
Oral Thrush – A harmless yeast infection is to blame for this type of thick, white coating on the tongue. It’s very common in infants, denture wearers, and people with diabetes.
These are just a few of the most common signs your tongue may be giving you about your health. It’s just as important to use common sense and call my Sparks dental office if you suspect something is not right. When your tongue and teeth are healthy, the rest of you will be too!
These days you can’t go very far without seeing bottled water, whether you’re scanning the aisles at your favorite supermarket, cheering on your kids at their latest sporting event, or perhaps packing for a trip to your favorite vacation destination. Our dental office in Sparks wants you and your family to stay healthy and hydrated, which may mean drinking more bottled water. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the getting water from the bottle vs. the tap.
The Pros: Why is Bottled Water So Popular?
- It’s Readily Available
Bottled water is an excellent solution for having delicious drinking water anytime, anywhere. It’s portable and travels easily in briefcases, purses, gym bags, backpacks, and more. Sometimes, given your surroundings (i.e. camping or in a foreign country) it’s easier to have a bottle of water with you. It’s also able to be purchased conveniently.
- Easy to Store and Delicious to Drink
In the event of a disaster or other emergency, your dentist in Sparks knows that having bottled water on hand is definitely helpful and it can be a lifesaver depending on the circumstances. Because bottled water does not expire, it’s always a good idea to keep some stored away, just in case. Depending on the condition of your tap water, bottled H20 also tends to taste better too. This usually due, in part, to the purification process certain types of bottle water must undergo during the preparation process.
The Cons: What’s So Bad About Bottled Water?
- It Could Cost You More Money
Because there are so many additional necessary steps to ensure bottled water is safe to drink (purification, packaging, transporting, marketing, etc.), it can tend to be a bit more pricey than the water flowing from your tap.
- There Could Be Some Health Risks
Our Sparks dental office wants you to know about the possible health risks associated with bottled water. Did you know commercially produced bottled water does not contain fluoride, while tap water does? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps keep teeth strong and healthy. It’s especially important that kids get enough fluoride for their growing teeth. Some plastic bottles also contain the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) which can seep into the water before you drink it. This risk increases significantly if your water is stored somewhere hot in direct sunlight.
We hope you learned a little bit about some of the benefits and some of the potential downfalls to drinking bottled H20! No matter what kind of water you choose either for yourself or your family, it’s always very important to stay hydrated each and every day. This helps your body function a peak performance, you feel good, and look great on the outside too! Do you have any questions about what we talked about in our blog? Give us a call or ask us your questions at your next visit!