What does your tongue reveal about your health?

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Your tongue can help diagnose general health issues just by looking at it. It’s shape, colour, texture, bumps, and indents can tell you more about your health than you would expect, let’s just say… your tongue is kind of a road map to what is going on in your body.

Tongue Colour

A healthy tongue: pink in colour with a light white coat on it, medium thickness with no cracks, ulcers or teeth marks.

A bright red tongue: A red tongue normally indicates a lack of nutrients in the body, normally Vitamin B and Iron. In children, a strawberry/raspberry coloured tongue can be the early signs of Scarlett fever or Kawasaki disease.

A pale tongue:  You are probabley lacking Haemoglobin, the iron-containing protein found in red blood cells.  A pale tongue can also suggest bacteria, dead cells, and debris are wedged into your papillae. In some cases, a white tongue may be a sign of anemia or oral thrush (yeast infection).

Purple or bluish tongue: This can mean that fluid and blood are not circulating properly.  A purple tongue is common in people who suffer from high cholesterol, heart problems, and chronic bronchitis.

Black and hairy tongues: This is caused by an overgrowth of papillae trapping bacteria and other debris. While this is normally harmless and short lived, it is normally found in individuals with poor oral hygiene, or who excessively use tobacco, antibiotics or stomach medications (Pepto-Bismol).

A bright red tongue tip can indicate psychological stress.

Tongue Texture

When you run your finger on your tongue, it should feel a bit hairy.

A smooth tongue: Could be a nutritional deficiency. Map like patches can be a sign of a vitamin B deficiency or an irritation brought on by alcohol or some foods.

A wrinkled tongue:  While harmless, grooves in your tongue may cause irritation when eating spicy foods, and can prevent your tongue from steering clear of bacteria.

Sores and bumps on your tongue:  Bumps on your tongue can be an apthous ulcer (canker sore), or even an allergic reaction to food or medication. However, lesions that appear thick with a hard surface (often found on the side of the tongue) could be a sign of Leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is common in people with weakened immune systems caused by HIV or the Epstein- Barr virus. Sores and bumps can also be a sign of cancer. These kinds of sores should be examined by a doctor right away!

Dry tongue:  This could be caused by the swelling of your salivary glands which in turn result in a lack of saliva production.  A dry, furry tongue indicates too much mucous in your system. Keep an eye out for a constant dry tongue; this can be a sign of Sjorgren’s syndrome, a debilitating immunological disorder.

Tongue Coating

A tongue’s coating can reveal a healthy or unhealthy digestive system. A healthy digestive system would reveal a thin whitish tongue coating, yet an overburdened system would result in a thicker coating of the tongue.

Dehydration will cause a shiny, red, wet tongue, and when there is no coating of the tongue, this could be a sign of exhaustion in the body.

10 “Who Knew” Dental Facts

1)      Flossing can increase your life expectancy. True or False?

True.  By flossing daily, you can gain an additional 6 years! How? Poor oral hygiene may lead to inflammatory gum diseases and heart disease. By flossing, we rid our mouths of these disease-causing bacteria.


2)      What percentage of adults are afraid of the dentist?

More than 80% of adults experience some degree of dental fear. And more than half say this fear may keep them from seeing the dentist


3)      Chewing gum is bad for your teeth. True or false?

False. Most dentists give gum the thumbs up-as long as it’s sugarless. Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, which helps protect your teeth against decay-causing bacteria.


4)      Toothpaste has an expiry date. True or false?

True. Any toothpaste containing fluoride must carry an expiration date and typically it’s two years after the manufacturer date. After this date, fluoride in the toothpaste loses its ability to brush away bacteria in the mouth and protect against cavities.


5)      What is the hardest substance in the human body?

Enamel, the outer protective layer of your teeth is the hardest substance in the human body.


6)      It’s OK to keep your toothbrush near the toilet as long as it doesn’t fall in. True or False?

False.  A spray of bacteria from flushing the toilet can travel up to a distance of SIX FEET!


7)      Your teeth are one-of-a-kind just like your fingerprints. True or False?

True.  Tooth prints are unique to each individual, and nobody has an identical set, not even identical twins.


8)      If you are right-handed, the right side of your mouth will be the dominant chewing side. True or False?

False.  Chewing side preference has not been found to be related to an individual’s dominant hand side.


9)       It’s OK to throw dental floss in the toilet. True or False?

False. You should not throw your floss in the toilet. Dental floss is non-biodegradable and when flushed, it wraps around small clogs and tangles them into bigger ones.


10)   How often should you replace your toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, if it starts to show signs of wear or if you have been ill.

Chewing gum and migraines


Chewing gum. Your child’s favourite addiction. Did you know that gum-chewing may be the culprit of your child’s headache/migraine? Dr. Nathan Watemberg of Tel Aviv university-affiliated Meir Medical center published his findings in Pediatric neurology.

While typical triggers of headaches in adolescents are stress, tiredness, heat, video games, noise, sunlight, smoking, missed meals and menstruation, Dr. Watemberg noticed that many patients who reported headaches were daily gum chewers.

For this study, Dr. Watemberg observed 30 patients who had chronic headaches/migraines and chewed gum daily (for at least an hour and up to 6 hours a day). He asked them to stop chewing gum for a month and recorded the results. After a month of not chewing gum, patients reported that their headaches/migraines went away completely or that they experienced a decrease in the frequency and severity of their headaches. To test the results, the participants started chewing gum daily again for 2 weeks. Each of them reported the return of their symptoms within days.

Dr. Watemberg concluded that chewing gum puts stress on the TMJ (the joint where the jaw meets the scull) causing migraines and headaches. He says his findings can be put to use immediately.  Doctor’s can advise their patients, teenagers with chronic headaches, to simply stop chewing gum. This can provide them with a quick and effective treatment and prevent the need for expensive tests and medications.

Could this be the end to braces?

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Oral Piercings… How Safe Are They?

While one may consider oral piercings a way of self expression, they must also consider the possible complications and problems that may arise.

When it comes to oral piercings, more dental professionals would not recommend it. Like any injury, one may expect pain, swelling, infections and scar tissue formation, these are only primary problems. With oral piercings, secondary infections may arise and they can be very serious.

If you, or your child are considering an oral piercing, please read below and consider every possibility before making your decision.

What exactly is an oral piercing?

An oral piercing is a piercing anywhere in, or around the mouth. They usually consist of a stainless steel, gold, titanium, plastic or nickel rings or barbells.

What problems can an oral piercing cause?

Problems depend on the area of the piercing. In most cases, tongue, lip, or below the tongue piercings can cause chipping of the teeth, it is recommended that you use plastic jewelry as this may be less damaging.

Tongue piercings, or piercings below the tongue are most prone to serious infections because both these areas have high blood supply. Infections of these areas can be very dangerous because if swelling occurs, one may chance an obstructed airway, which may be life threatening.

Nerve or muscle damage is another problem that can arise. While not usually serious or permanent, it may be unnerving to the individual.

Labret piercings constantly rub against the opposing gum tissue which causes receding gums and root exposure. The root surfaces of our teeth are more susceptible to decay.

Other complications include: bad breath, drooling, and problems with chewing and swallowing.

What are the best precautionary measures?

–          Make sure that your tattoo/piercing parlor is clean and sterile

–          Ensure the practitioner performing the service is experienced and practices using proper infection control.

–          Disinfect your oral jewelry properly and brush it like you brush your teeth.

–          If close to the teeth, use plastic at the ends of your jewelry to prevent tooth chipping.

–          Seek immediate attention from your family doctor or dentist if you experience anything out of the ordinary (swelling, pain, excessive bleeding, or infection)

–          See your dentist for regular check-ups so that they can monitor the piercing and any potential damage to the teeth and gums.

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Before/After Componeer Cases

Our patient was unhappy with her lateral incisors (the teeth next to her two front teeth). She felt that that were twisted and set back too far. With Componeers we were able to straighten them out, reshape them, and bring them forward in a 1 hour appointment

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Patient was frustrated with chipped front teeth and the black triangles along her gum line. She had been to our office and her previous dentist with multiple attempts to repair the chipping. Nothing would stay. With Componeers we were able to add more strength to her teeth and close up the dark triangles. Check it out!












Patient was unhappy with the colour of her lateral incisors (the teeth next to her two front teeth). After several attempts to improve shape and colour, this patient decided to go with the Componeer route before considering the more expensive alternative, veneers.

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4 Teeth Damaging Habits


  1. Chewing Ice: This is one habit to quit in order to prevent tooth damage. Chewing ice can cause gum damage or broken teeth. In some cases, teeth are so badly fractured that they may require more major treatment. If it’s the crunchiness of the ice that keeps you chewing, try chewing on a baby carrots or an apple. (A possible cause of chewing ice may be anemia, if you find yourself chewing on a regular basis, see your family doctor).
  2. Using teeth as scissors (I’m definitely guilty of doing thisL): This nasty habit can lead to tiny divots in your teeth, which in turn, can lead to bigger cracks and/or fractures. When in doubt, USE SCISSORS!
  3. The improper use of toothpicks: If used properly, a toothpick is a great tool for removing food from in between teeth, but if you use it too aggressively, you risk hurting your gums, or breaking the pick off in between your teeth.
  4. Chewing of foreign objects:  The only thing that belongs in our mouth is food, so stop chewing on your pens! These objects may be fun to chew on, but they can lead to unnecessary and expensive treatment.


If you’re the victim of any of these habits, feel free to give us a call at 905-264-0333. We would be more than happy to fix you up J