Thick tongue and Tie tongue

An Overview

Your tongue is a vital and versatile muscle that aids in the digestion of food and helps you speak properly. You may not often think about the health of your tongue, but a number of conditions can affect this muscle. Tongue inflammation is one of them. The tongue is used for tasting, swallowing, and chewing food. The tongue is also used to form words for speaking. Typically, a tongue that is pink and moist with a thin slightly white, shiny coating on the surface is considered healthy. There are variations of surface texture that are normal and healthy as well. As many of us have experienced,

Tongue inflammation occurs when the tongue becomes swollen and possibly discolored. This can make the tongue appear as if it’s smooth. Other names for tongue inflammation include tongue infection, smooth tongue, glossodynia, glossitis, and burning tongue syndrome.

Causes of thick tongue

There are many possible causes of tongue problems, ranging from harmless to serious. Individuals can be born with a harmless tongue condition. A more serious condition such as tongue cancer can be related to risk factors such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Additionally, a tongue problem may be a result of an underlying medical condition.

Allergic reactions

Tongue inflammation may occur if you have an allergic reaction to toothpaste, mouthwash, dentures, denture creams, or retainers. Allergic reactions to certain medications may also cause this condition.

Injury

Burns or trauma inside the mouth may cause tongue inflammation.

Vitamin deficiency

Pathologically low levels of vitamin B-12 or iron may cause tongue inflammation.

Skin conditions

Certain skin conditions may cause tongue inflammation. Oral lichen planus is an inflammatory disease that causes sores, swelling, and redness. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that can result in a body rash. Pemphigus is an autoimmune disease that causes skin blistering.

Yeast infections

Yeast infections in the mouth, also known as thrush, can cause tongue inflammation.

Ingesting irritants

Alcohol, spicy foods, or tobacco may irritate the mouth and cause tongue inflammation. If you notice your tongue coat is super thick in texture, it’s pointing to one place: YOUR GUT. Empirical science on gut health is relatively new, but the evidence keeps stacking up that your immune system, and general well-being, largely stems from your gut.
A thick tongue coat is indicative of an unhealthy gut, meaning harmful bacteria have outnumbered the beneficial bacteria that live down there. This imbalance can cause digestive problems, skin disorders, and even psychological issues like depression.

Treatment

Treatment for tongue-tie is controversial. Some doctors and lactation consultants recommend correcting it right away — even before a newborn is discharged from the hospital. Others prefer to take a wait-and-see approach.
The lingual frenulum may loosen over time, resolving tongue-tie. In other cases, tongue-tie persists without causing problems. In some cases, consultation with a lactation consultant can assist with breast-feeding, and speech therapy with a speech-language pathologist may help improve speech sounds.

Tongue tie

Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion.
With tongue-tie, an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth, so it may interfere with breast-feeding. Someone who has tongue-tie might have difficulty sticking out his or her tongue. Tongue-tie can also affect the way a child eats, speaks and swallows.

Symptoms for Tongue tie

Signs and symptoms of tongue-tie include:
• Difficulty lifting the tongue to the upper teeth or moving the tongue from side to side
• Trouble sticking out the tongue past the lower front teeth
• A tongue that appears notched or heart shaped when stuck out

Diagnosis

Tongue-tie is typically diagnosed during a physical exam. For infants, the doctor might use a screening tool to score various aspects of the tongue’s appearance and ability to move.
The decision to treat a tongue-tie often comes down to the severity. Some care providers will take a wait-and-see approach for very mild cases, while others will recommend a frenotomy (also called frenectomy), which is the procedure used to release the lingual frenulum.

Treatment

“Frenotomies are simple, usually take just a few minutes to perform, and can be done in a doctor’s office,” says Jessica Madden, MD, and medical director at Aeroflow Breastpumps. The most common side effect is a mild amount of bleeding.

Tongue exercises after treatment

The tongue is a group of muscles as well. Exercising the tongue after its release will help it adjust and reach its full range of movements. It can even help lower the possibility of scarring.

1. Stick your tongue straight out.
2. Try moving it up as if it will touch your nose.
3. Move your tongue sideways up to the maximum extent that you can—same as upwards and downwards movement.

Do these exercises for at least 10 seconds, three times each. You can ask your doctor how frequently and when should you do these exercises. Another critical point here is speech problems. Tongue tie also causes speech problems, so the patient will even have to work for it.

To address the speech issue, the patient can start by saying particular words they are troubled with. They don’t have to rush things to correct their speech. It would take some time and effort to do this since they have been in a tongue tie for an extended period already. Aside from this practice, they can even ask support from a Speech and Language Therapist to help them out.

Moreover, tongue tie also affected the facial muscles. For this reason, they can enroll in Myofunctional Facial Therapy. It will improve the function and their facial appearance.

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