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Tongue Issues

When the tongue is not in good shape, it makes tasks like speech and chewing difficult.  Most tongue problems can be avoided or controlled with dental hygiene, but there are some problems that may need medical treatment to help resolve them.

The tongue is a complex organ of the body and it can develop a range of different conditions.  Some of these problems are:


Glossitis, Also known as a “swollen tongue”, can happen because of an allergic reaction to oral care products, medication, food, or even anxiety. There is also a possibility for more ominous causes like acromegaly, amyloidosis, myxedema, or Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Tongue Pain

Discomfort can happen because of blisters, canker sores, injury, leukoplakia, diabetic neuropathy, or mouth ulcers.

Coated Tongue

This can happen because of oral hairy leukoplakia, poor hygiene, drinking too much coffee or tea, or tobacco use.  Having any of these issues can lead to difficulty with basic functions.

Tongue-Related Problems: Fairhope, Alabama Teeth Whitening Dentist

  1.  Difficulty Speaking

Speaking requires the tongue to change positions, depending on what sound is used. The tongue needs to arch to the roof of the mouth for high vowel sounds like the “u” in Blue. Low vowel sounds like the “a” in a cat, requiring the tongue to lie flat in the mouth. If the tongue is swollen or less agile, it can make speaking clearly very difficult.

Tongue pain also can happen if when speaking, it comes into contact with different parts of the inner cheeks and gum tissue. When pain affects the area of the tongue that touches those areas, it can make delivering a clear sound, hard. Teeth Whitening Dentist in Fairhope.

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Teeth Whitening Dentist Daphne

Teeth Whitening in Daphne

Tongue Issues, Part 2

Tongue Related Problems

As mentioned in our previous article, “Tongue Issues”, the first tongue-related problem discussed is Speaking Problems.  Check out this article for more information regarding #1, but continue reading for more Tongue Related Problems:

Eating Challenges

If there is an issue going on with the tongue, it can make eating very difficult.  One common challenge is tasting the food.  The tongue’s surface is embedded with sensory cells (taste buds).  They come in contact with food particles.  If the taste buds are compromised, eating food will be less enjoyable.  This leads to a decreased appetite, followed by weight loss and inadequate nutrition.  If there is pain or swelling in the tongue, it can make chewing difficult.  This can result in choking if the food is not chewed well enough before attempting to swallow.

Respiratory Distress

When the tongue is heavily swollen, it can cause a person respiratory distress by blocking the airway.  When the case is an allergic reaction, it can combine with the swelling of the throat, typical of anaphylaxis. Alabama Teeth Whitening Dentist Daphne


Bad breath is a common by-product of many issues that accompany tongue problems.  A swollen tongue won’t necessarily give you halitosis, but any form of bacterial infection can result in a foul-smelling odor.

Many tongue disorders can be prevented by simply maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen.  This includes daily brushing with a toothbrush that also has a tongue cleaner.  Removing bacteria from the tongue is very important and should happen every time the teeth are brushed. Visit our office today if you are looking for a Teeth Whitening Dentist near Daphne, AL.

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Alabama Fairhope Dentist

Dentist in Fairhope

Alabama Fairhope Dentist

Home Remedies for Gums

Oil Pulling

Recently, the discussion has opened again into the possible health benefits of an ancient practice known as oil pulling.  Oil pulling involves swishing oil in your mouth for a short period of time to treat certain conditions like migraines and diabetes.  But there are some who even use it to help with bleeding gums.

According to the ADA (American Dental Association), there isn’t enough evidence to support oil pulling to treat gingivitis. There are, however, a handful of studies that show the benefits.

The oil of choice for many to do oil pulling is an edible oil like sesame, olive, coconut, or sunflower.  Swishing time ranges from 1 to 20 minutes.  Make sure to speak to your dentist before trying it!

Dairy and Crunchy Foods

All milk products contain calcium.  Calcium is a nutrient that will help strengthen the teeth.  There is a 2008 study available in the Journal of Periodontology found that people who eat dairy products regularly like milk, cheese, and yogurt battled less with gum disease. Alabama Fairhope Dentist

Eating something like carrots or celery can also help, too.  It really is the “crunch factor” that works instead of the nutrients they contain. Crunchy foods can help remove plaque from the teeth but there is no specific research on how the vitamin A in carrots can help with gum disease.

When you are chewing, the mouth will produce more saliva.  The saliva washes away food particles and acids that cause much damage.  Most veggies are low in sugar and high in water/fiber content.  This helps clean the teeth!   Alabama Fairhope Dentist


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Alabama Fairhope Dentist Near Me

Dentist Near Me in Fairhope

Helping with Disabilities

For most Americans, when you have a cavity, it’s an easy fix.  A quick trip to the dentist is all you need!  But if a person has a disability (confined to a bed or wheelchair) oftentimes their oral health is one of the most neglected needs.

When a physician is treating a child or adult that has a disability, unfortunately, dental care is a much lower priority than the other health problems they face.  Dentists can also be unfamiliar with treating someone with a disability—very few dental schools provide training in caring for these types of patients.

When a child has a disability, they must visit the dentist regularly—-they will be very susceptible to dental disease.  Genetic disorders and high fevers cause the enamel to become weakened—causing the enamel to be prone to cavity development.  If a child has Down syndrome, gum disease, and poorly aligned teeth are prevalent.  Alabama Fairhope Dentist Near Me

Medications can cause dental decay—-they have a high sucrose content.  Children with disabilities sometimes have soft diets and do not eat abrasive particles that help to remove food and plaque from the teeth.

If a child or adult has a disability or a disabling condition, they can still take care of their teeth and should rely on family members for help!  Dentists or dental hygienists can teach family members how to properly brush and floss.  There are also special devices available for brushing and flossing.  Mouthwashes can also be prescribed for a patient which can help increase saliva flow and reduce plaque build-up.  Alabama Fairhope Dentist Near Me

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Dental Emergency Foley

Dental Emergency

Symptoms with Dry Socket

A dry socket is extremely painful and can happen if the blood following a tooth removal fails to clot or the clot dissolves too quickly.  This is the most common complication with tooth extractions.  Using over-the-counter meds will not be enough to help with the pain.  You must see your dentist or oral surgeon for additional treatment to help relieve the pain.  The pain occurs because the bone and nerves are exposed—the blood clot is needed as a barrier of protection.


Some signs and symptoms of dry socket may include the following:

  1.  Severe pain, 1 to 3 days after the tooth is removed.
  2.  Partial or total loss of the blood clot.  You may notice an empty-looking (dry) socket.
  3.  The bone is visible in the socket
  4.  Pain that will radiate from the socket to your ear, eye, temple, or neck on whatever side of the face the extraction occurred.
  5.  Bad breath or a foul smell coming from the mouth.
  6.  Unpleasant taste in the mouth

When to see a Doctor

After any tooth extraction, you can expect a certain degree of pain and discomfort.  However, the pain should be able to be managed with a pain reliever prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon.  The pain should lessen with time.

If the pain worsens in the days after the tooth has been removed, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.  This is not something you want to leave untreated. Visit our office, serving Foley, AL for Dental Emergencies today. Find your way, down by the Bay!