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:
Constant state of weakness or fatigue
Hoarseness of voice or change of voice
Thinning of hair or extreme hair loss
Dry and peeling skin
Acute constipation and indigestion from time to time
Sensitivity to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold
Dryness of the lips
Water retention or bloating in the body
Feeling of heaviness
SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS IN PATIENTS WITH SPLEEN DEFICIENCY :- In patients with Spleen Deficiency the following specific symptoms can be observed:
Paleness of the tongue and face
Sudden weight loss
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:
Thyroid conditions like:
Autoimmune thyroid or Hashimoto’s Disease
Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland
Angioedema or severe anaphylactic reaction to an allergen
Dry mouth or dehydration
Dryness of the throat
Vitamin deficiency in the body
Stress or tension
Sinusitis or inflammation of the sinus
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.
MEDICAL PAST OF THE PATIENT
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
Food habit, daily diet plan
Daily water intake
Appearance of the scalloped tongue for the first time
PHYSICAL EXAMINATION OF THE TONGUE
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.
SECONDARY LABORATORY TESTING
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
HOW CAN A SCALLOPED TONGUE BE TREATED?
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:
Identify the allergen
Avoid it as much as possible or opt for an immunotherapy
Use Corticosteroids ( if your doctor recommends) to tackle severe allergies like dust mite and pollen allergy
If The Cause Is Hypothyroidism,Then:
Take thyroid supplements regularly ( as advised by your doctor)
Regularize your diet
Take the help of physiotherapy or massage to cope up with muscular tension
If The Cause Is Angioedema,Then:
Immediately rush to the doctor for medical assistance
Take antihistamines and epinephrine
If The Cause Is Spleen Deficiency,Then:
Opt for natural herbal therapies
Regularize your diet
If The Cause Is Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome,Then:
Take medication to relieve pain and swelling
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.