Patterns on Tongue

My tongue seems to periodically get these “patterns” on it. They’re not always in the same place. Should I be worried?

Leslie S.- Little Rock, AR


There could be several causes for this, including oral cancer. However, it sounds to me like you have what is known as geographic tongue.

With geographic tongue you’ll have missing areas of papilla. This shows up as red smooth patches with white borders. We don’t know what causes it. The patches move from site to site and often show up when you’re sick or stressed.

I recommend seeing your dentist and having him officially diagnose  you. It is best to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve checked. This way you won’t have the worst case scenario worrying you in the back of your mind.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

Diabetes and your dental health

Diabetes can be a devastating diagnoses. There are so many changes that have to be made to your life in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. What your doctor may not have told you is how it affects your dental health. When your blood sugar is high, you will notice a decrease in your saliva production, which leads to dry mouth. Your saliva is imbued with certain minerals and enzymes that help fight gum disease and tooth decay. Your teeth and gums need your saliva to help fight the bacteria that sticks to your teeth. With a decrease in salivary flow you are more at risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and candidiasis.

Here are some tips in dealing with your oral health with diabetes:

  • Visit your dentist more than just twice a year for dental cleanings
  • Make sure your hygienist does a complete periodontal examination at least once a year
  • Brush your teeth three times a day and floss daily to remove bacteria from affecting your teeth and gums
  • Ask your dentist for prescription fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash to help prevent tooth decay
  • Check your blood sugar often
  • Drink lots of water to help neutralize any acidic properties you may have ingested.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.