Have you noticed that your tongue has an irregular shape, with rounded half-circle indentations around the edges? This scalloped appearance to your tongue is caused by your tongue pressing up against your teeth as it rests in your mouth.
There are many potential reasons why your tongue may be pressing up against your teeth. It’s possible that this is a symptom of systemic health problems. It could be a sign that your teeth are not spaced out properly to allow adequate room for your tongue, or that your tongue is thrusting up against your teeth.
Systemic Health Problems and a Scalloped Tongue
One of the reasons why your tongue may be pressing up against your teeth is that it may be swollen. Swelling of the tongue can be caused by a number of systemic health problems. One of the most common is hypothyroidism. In hypothyroidism, your thyroid isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone, which affects your metabolism and can lead to obesity and other major health problems.
Some nutrient deficiencies may be associated with scalloped tongue, and in Chinese medicine spleen deficiency is also considered a cause of scalloped tongue.
If you have a scalloped tongue, you should talk to your doctor about these potential problems as well as sleep apnea, which may be caused by an enlarged tongue.
Scalloped Tongue and Your Teeth
However, your tongue may not be scalloped because it’s swollen. It might be scalloped because your lower jaw is too narrow or because your tongue is trying to make up for a bad bite, which may or may not be associated with TMJ.
If your teeth aren’t fitting together properly, they may not be stabilizing your jaw well enough for your swallowing muscles to work. In this case, your tongue may try to help out by pressing against your teeth to provide stability. This not only leads to scalloping of the tongue, it can further displace your teeth and make it even harder to stabilize your jaw for swallowing. Adjusting your bite so it comes together in a stable way can eliminate the need for this behavior, and therefore will help keep your teeth in place..
If you think a bad bite might be responsible for your scalloped tongue, we can help. Please call (912) 234-8282 for an appointment with a Savannah neuromuscular dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.