Check Their Tongue! Maybe Yours Too!


And you thought we dentists just looked at teeth. Tongues can push teeth crooked. They can beat up the dentist trying to do a filling on a lower tooth. Tongues seem to have eyes of their own and go right to where the dentist is drilling or filling a tooth. Both the dentist and the dental assistant come away exhausted after wrestling a tongue to get it out of their way. Tongues can look weird too. They can be all gross with thick yellow and black gunk all over them when the person is a smoker. They collect sulfur smelling debris on the back base of them giving people bad breath. They choke people when unconscious. They can have marks all over them that look like craters on the moon that move from day to day. Their sides can look perfectly scalloped. They can have a fissure down the middle of them looking like a miniature Grand Canyon. They taste everything. They are our first connection with the outer world feeling everything that touches them from a mother’s breast to a toy, fingers, and yes dirt. And now for the rest of the story………

Tongues are the main culprit in obstructive sleep apnea. When we are asleep lying down they slump back and close off our airway. Not only but especially in a REM stage of sleep, there is no muscle tension or motor activity stimulation to keep them out of your airway. They can vibrate causing snoring sounds. They grow larger as we gain weight. Large tongue equals getting up going to the bathroom more often in the night. Why? Because your brain try’s to arouse you by sending signals to the tongue to come to attention and quite blocking your airway. You don’t wake up all the way but just enough to think you have to go to the bathroom.

Big, weird tongue equals probable sleep apnea and shorter life span.