Tongue plays a key role in speaking, eating or while tasting the food and hence it is also an important body part. The inflammation of tongue is known as the condition of wavy tongue or the scalloped tongue. This condition also speaks for your overall general health.
What does wavy tongue mean?
A wavy tongue is the condition of rippled effect at sides of your tongue. This is caused due to the pressing of the enlarged tongue against teeth. There are various other names for this such as crenated tongue, pie crust tongue, and crenulated tongue. The condition of a wavy tongue is considered as the cause of any underlying disease. The diseases may include low thyroid hormone levels, sleep apnea, vitamin deficiencies as well as anxiety.
The swelling and enlargement of the tongue trigger the development of scalloping effect on the sides of the tongue, visible teeth marks as well as the appearance of indentations on the tongue edges.
What are the symptoms of a wavy tongue?
There are various symptoms of the problem of a wavy tongue. Some of the common symptoms of the condition are listed below.
● A swollen, inflamed as well as enlarged tongue with ridges on the sides and the development of fissures which looks similar to the teeth marks.
● Redness of tongue due to friction as well as raised pressure along the sides.
● Sometimes the condition of the wavy tongue may occur due to any underlying disease such as a sore throat, swollen tongue, halitosis as well as pain in the tongue.
What are the causes of the wavy tongue?
The most common cause of the condition of waved tongue is the inflammation of the tongue. The swelling of the tongue is also known as macroglossia. Macroglossia is caused due to various health conditions. Some of the causes of the wavy tongue are listed below.
● Birth defect and genetic conditions
Some disease may linked to you since your birth and may lead to the condition of a scalloped tongue or macroglossia. The diseases include,
- Apert syndrome
- Congenital syndrome
- Down syndrome
All these conditions have their own unique symptoms.
The low level of thyroid hormone causes the thyroid disorder. Along with the tongue swelling as well as wavy tongue, you may also experience the following symptoms of lack of thyroid hormones in the body.
- Tiredness○ Hair loss○ Bruising
- Aches and cramps
- Low blood pressure
The disease is caused due to the accumulation of proteins. The buildup takes place on your organs along with the soft tissues such as the tongue. This triggers the inflammation as well as swelling which causes the scalloped edges on the sides of the tongue due to the pushing of the tongue against the teeth.
Another major cause of swelling on your body is dehydration. This swelling can even occur on your tongue.
● Parafunctional habits
Some habits may cause various problems for you and may cause side effects on your tongue as well as mouth by causing serious complications for the long term. These habits might not even be noticed by you. Treatment, as well as occupational therapy, is recommended to stop doing these habits.
● Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can also be the cause the problem of the wavy tongue. It occurs due to the difficulty of breathing while you are asleep. Pushing your tongue down into the teeth to open the airway subconsciously may cause scalloped tongue.
● Temporomandibular joint disorder
The misalignment or the painful stucking of the joint which connects the lower jaw to the skull may also trigger the condition of waved tongue. This occurs due to the fact that it becomes highly difficult for the tongue and it does the extra work to hold your lower jaw in its place. The pressing of a tongue against your teeth becomes inevitable to form a necessary pressure. This may trigger the formation of indentation pattern on the sides of the tongue.
How to get rid of the wavy tongue?
The treatment of the wavy tongue depends on the elimination of the underlying cause of the problem. Some of the effective treatments are listed below.
● Genetic conditions
Your doctor will recommend the surgery to reduce the size of your tongue. The orthodontic, as well as dental procedures, can be able to create some more space in your mouth for the proper fitting of your tongue.
The thyroid condition is normally treated according to some prescription medications. These medications are helpful in restoring the healthy hormone levels, which is helpful in eliminating the symptoms such as the wavy tongue.
You can easily prevent the condition of dehydration by drinking a lot of fluids. Keeping your body hydrated also helps in removing swelling as well as inflammation caused due to it.
There is no effective treatment available for this disease. However, the existing treatment is useful in reducing the symptoms of the disease. The common treatments include chemotherapy as well as stem cell transplant.
The anti-anxiety medications prescribed by the doctor helps in getting relief from anxiety and helps in reducing the underlying issues and symptoms such as indentation on the sides of the tongue.
● Parafunctional habits
The habits which can trigger the inflammation of tongue are tongue thrusting as well as tooth clenching. It is recommended to work with the occupational therapist to get rid of the problem.
● Home remedies
You can even try some of the effective home remedies which are helpful in relieving pain as well as reducing irritation and swelling. Some of the effective home remedies are,
- Heat compress
Applying heat compress on the tongue produces warmth, which is helpful in soothing the inflamed tissues as well as relieving pain.
- Dental devices
Devices such as mouth guards are helpful in reducing clenching as well as easing pressure. These devices are highly helpful, especially for sleep apnea.
- Cold compress
Applying cold compress is also highly useful in reducing the inflammation as well as pain.
When to see a doctor?
The problem of the wavy tongue is not considered as a sign of severe health issue. Even though you don’t have to take the emergency care, it is recommended to consult with your doctor immediately if the pain worsens or you experience the different signs and symptoms.
If untreated the condition may create various more complications. Make a list of possible causes as well as symptoms you are experiencing which will help your doctor in determining the exact cause of the problem. Your doctor will then recommend the treatment accordingly.
By Prajakt K.