Dehydrated Tongue Explained
Did you know that the human tongue is one of the most sensitive organs in the body? It’s responsible for our sense of taste and can also detect texture and temperature. Not only that, but the tongue helps us speak and swallow food. So it’s no wonder that when something goes wrong with it, we notice it right away. One common problem people experience is a dehydrated tongue. Let’s take a closer look at what this is, what causes it, and how to get relief.
What is a dehydrated tongue?
A dehydrated tongue signifies your body is dehydrated and requires more fluids. It is a medical condition where the tongue becomes dry and cracked due to a lack of moisture. The condition can be painful and make speaking or eating difficult. Dehydration can occur for many reasons, including not drinking enough fluids, excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Signs of Dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Decreased urination or dark yellow urine
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Tongue Dehydration Signs & Symptoms:
Tongue dehydration can cause several different symptoms, including:
- Feeling tightness or dryness in the mouth
- Feeling thirsty
- Sticky or tacky feeling in the mouth
- Dry or rough tongue
- Bad breath
- Difficulty swallowing and speaking
- Burning sensation in the mouth
- Sores on the tongue
Can dehydration cause white tongue?
Dehydration can cause a number of different problems in the body, one of which is a condition known as white tongue. White tongue is typically caused by a buildup of bacteria on the tongue and this can occur when there is not enough saliva present to keep the mouth clean.
Dehydration can lead to a decrease in saliva production, which then allows bacteria to flourish. Dehydration also causes the tongue to become cracked and irritated, making it more susceptible to infection.
As a result, it is important to stay hydrated, especially if you are suffering from white tongue. Drinking plenty of fluids will help flush out any toxins and bacteria that may be present in the mouth, and it will also help keep the tongue moist and healthy.
What to do when you have a dry tongue?
Your tongue can become dry for many reasons. Maybe you’ve been out in the sun too long or dehydrated. Perhaps you’ve been taking certain medications that have caused your mouth to become dry. Or it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Regardless of the cause, there are things you can do to relieve your dry tongue. Here are a few suggestions:
- Drink plenty of fluids. This is especially important if you’re dehydrated. Sip on water or another beverage throughout the day. Avoid drinks that can make your mouth even drier, such as alcohol and caffeine.
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy. This can help stimulate saliva production.
- Use a tongue scraper. Gently brush your tongue with a tongue scraper (or your toothbrush) to remove bacteria and debris.
- Gargle with salt water. Mix 1 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and gargle for 30 seconds.
- Apply a tongue moisturizer. Look for a product that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin. Or, you can make your own tongue moisturizer by mixing 1 teaspoon of honey in 1 cup of warm water.
Other Potential Health Issues
If your dry tongue is accompanied by other symptoms, such as soreness, redness, or white patches, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. Some of the conditions include:
- Side effects of medication
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy side effects
- Hormonal changes
- An Infection
- Addison’s disease
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
Dentists in Harrisburg
If you are experiencing any tongue dehydration signs, it is crucial to see a dentist in Harrisburg, NC, as soon as possible. Dehydration can cause white tongue and other serious problems. If you are unsure what the issue is and would like a cosultation, please call your Harrisburg dentist. They will be able to help you determine if you are dehydrated and how to treat the condition best.
Our Harrisburg NC Dentist Office
To learn more about dental treatments from Icard & Strein Family Dentistry, or to schedule an appointment, call our Harrisburg, NC dental office today at 704.455.5003.