Scalloped Tongue

Scalloped Tongue

Scalloped Tongue Definition :- The scalloped or uneven appearance of the border or lateral sides of the tongue is called a scalloped tongue. It is also called crenated tongue, crenulated tongue or lingua indentata.

What Is A Scalloped Tongue?

If you have ever noted some rounded half-circle indentations around the edges of your tongue or some sort of unevenness of the tongue, then you must know that this is what is called a scalloped tongue. It is also described as wavy tongue edge, ripple tongue edge or tongue ridges along the teeth.

An increase in the size of the tongue or thickening of the tongue can cause it to press against the teeth and give rise to the formation of indentations or waves at the edges of the teeth. It may result in paleness, soreness or inflammation of the tongue.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Scalloped Tongue?

They are several symptoms that can come with a scalloped tongue:

  • DEHYDRATION OF THE MOUTH :- Scalloped tongue is often associated with dryness of the mouth.
  • SWELLING OF FACIAL FEATURES :- This involves inflammation at the level of the face with evident swelling in eyelids and swelling in lips. This is prevalent in patients with Hypothyroidism.
  • SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS IN PATIENTS WITH AUTOIMMUNE THYROID (HASHIMOTO’S DISEASE) :- In patients with Autoimmune Thyroid the following specific symptoms can be observed:
  1. Constant state of weakness or fatigue
  2. Hoarseness of voice or change of voice
  3. Thinning of hair or extreme hair loss
  4. Dry and peeling skin
  5. Acute constipation and indigestion from time to time
  6. Myalgia (Muscles and Joint pains)
  7. Stiffness of muscles
  8. Frequent feeling of depression and anxiety
  9. Sensitivity to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold
  10. Dryness of the lips
  11. Water retention or bloating in the body
  12. Feeling of heaviness
  13. Frequent headaches
  14. Sleep apnea
  15. Weight gain
  • SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS IN PATIENTS WITH SPLEEN DEFICIENCY :- In patients with Spleen Deficiency the following specific symptoms can be observed:
  1. Paleness of the tongue and face
  2. Sudden weight loss
  3. Reduced appetite
  • SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS IN PATIENTS WITH TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT SYNDROME :- Instability of the jaw leading to instability of the tongue which will finally results in pressing of the tongue against the teeth and formation of indentation marks.
  • ANXIETY :- People, who suffer in anxiety, often end up having a scalloped tongue as anxiety leads to stress and tension in the muscles. Since the tongue is also a muscle, anxiety leads to irregular movement of the tongue resulting in a scalloped tongue.

What Are The Causes Of A Scalloped Tongue?

There are several factors that contribute to the formation of a scalloped tongue. The most common causes that lead to the formation of a scalloped tongue are:

  • Scarlet fever
  • Neoplastic tumour
  • Canker sore
  • Thyroid conditions like:
  1. Autoimmune thyroid or Hashimoto’s Disease
  2. Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland
  3. Hyperthyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Angioedema or severe anaphylactic reaction to an allergen
  • Dry mouth or dehydration
  • Dryness of the throat
  • Spleen Deficiency
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Vitamin deficiency in the body
  • Stress or tension
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Sinusitis or inflammation of the sinus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Iron deficiency
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome

How Can A Scalloped Tongue Be Diagnosed?

There are a few simple techniques that can easily determine the presence of a scalloped tongue in patients.


This is the first and foremost method to ascertain the causes and presence of a scalloped tongue. It involves the following steps:

  • Study of pre-existing medical conditions
  • Family history of medical conditions
  • Sleeping pattern
  • Food habit, daily diet plan
  • Daily water intake
  • Appearance of the scalloped tongue for the first time


The doctor will examine your tongue and surrounding area thoroughly with a help of a torch to check the presence of indentations at the edges of the tongue.


After physical examination, if the doctor feels the need of further testing then he may recommend the following laboratory tests:

  • Thyroid Profile (T3, T4, TSH) to identify Hypo or Hyperthyroidism
  • Thyroid Antibody Test to identify Autoimmune Thyroid Disorder
  • CBC or Complete Blood Count to rule out Anaemia


Since there is no specific condition that leads to the formation of a scalloped tongue, you may have to first find out the underlying cause of it and treat it accordingly. Also, since it is not a harmful condition, you need not get hassled.

  • If The Cause Is Allergy Then:

  1. Identify the allergen
  2. Avoid it as much as possible or opt for an immunotherapy
  3. Use Corticosteroids ( if your doctor recommends) to tackle severe allergies like dust mite and pollen allergy
  • If The Cause Is Hypothyroidism,Then:

  1. Take thyroid supplements regularly ( as advised by your doctor)
  2. Regularize your diet
  3. Take the help of physiotherapy or massage to cope up with muscular tension
  • If The Cause Is Angioedema,Then:

  1. Immediately rush to the doctor for medical assistance
  2. Take antihistamines and epinephrine
  • If The Cause Is Spleen Deficiency,Then:

  1. Opt for natural herbal therapies
  2. Regularize your diet
  • If The Cause Is Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome,Then:

  1. Take medication to relieve pain and swelling
  2. Take anti-anxiety medications if prescribed by your doctor

Are There Any Home Remedies For A Scalloped Tongue?

Yes, there are a few home remedies that you can adopt to get rid of a scalloped tongue at the convenience of your home. Check out these home remedies below that will help you get rid of a scalloped tongue real fast:

CHANGES IN DIET :- With the right changes in diet, you can overcome a scalloped tongue. Healthy food, rich in vitamins and minerals is highly recommended. Avoid smoking, reduce your alcohol intake or if possible, get rid of it. Eat carrot, beans, fish, fresh fruits and eggs.

GO FOR A DETOXIFICATION SESSION :- This is highly recommended and very useful in removing toxic substances from the body. This remedy comes very handy in case of patients with hypothyroidism. The best and most efficient way to detoxify your body is by having plenty of water.

OPT FOR ORAL SUPPLEMENTS :- If your body is not retaining enough vitamins and minerals from food, then it’s better that you opt for oral supplements. Vitamin B-12 and iron supplements can be really helpful.

Scalloped Tongue Pictures :-

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Scalloped Tongue


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scalloped tongue