Stick Out Your Tongue!

Fargo oral cancer exams As health professionals, we know that Fargo dentists diagnose and treat conditions of the teeth and gums, but we sometimes overlook the importance of the tongue.

Have you ever considered all the amazing things your tongue can do? It helps us talk, perceive the texture and flavor of food, chew, and swallow. This strong and nimble gymnast is in near-constant motion during our waking hours. It is a wonder that we don’t accidentally bite it more often as we smile, chew, drink, breathe, swallow, cough, and laugh.

Your tongue can also reveal problems with your health, including digestive problems, infections, and diseases of the blood.

When Dennis Hetland performs oral exams, the tongue is always checked for signs of oral cancer and other serious diseases.

Here are some tongue abnormalities and possible causes:

  • Swollen tongue: reaction to food/drink/medication, strep infection, leukemia, hypothyroidism
  • White tongue: dehydration, yeast infection, irritation to tobacco, enteritis, gastritis, colitis, anemia or other nutritional deficiency
  • Canker sores: may be triggered by stress or reaction to food, toothpaste, or mouthwash.

If you have persistent canker sores, you may want to try eliminating products that contain sodium lauryl (or laurel) sulfate (SLS). SLS is a cheap foaming agent that is found in many personal care products. It can be difficult to find SLS-free dental products in Fargo. The following brands have previously offered SLS-free versions but check labels carefully every time you buy a new tube. I have noticed that SLS has re-appeared in some brands.

  • Biotene
  • Sensodyne Pronamel
  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Rembrandt Low Abrasion

If you can’t find an SLS-free toothpaste at your local Fargo grocery store, I would suggest trying health food stores, specialty drug stores, or trusted online sites.

Many of my Fargo patients have asked me about tongue-scraping. I recommend thorough dental hygiene including cleaning the tongue. To schedule a consultation to discuss any dental health issues including tongue scraping, please contact my office at 701-566-5063.

Contact Designer Smiles:

701-566-5063

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3525 25th St S
Fargo, North Dakota
58104

Posted in Dental Health
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Designer Smiles

Dr. Dennis Hetland
Come visit Dr. Hetland in Fargo if you are in need of dental services, such as dental implants or cosmetic dentistry! Call now to schedule an appointment if you are in Moorhead or West Fargo!

3525 25th St S
Fargo, ND 58104

CALL: (701) 298-9400 701-566-5063
awakenyoursmile@cableone.net

Testimonials
  • I’m a busy mom of 4 so I really appreciate the text reminders about our upcoming appointments.
    —WHITNEY
  • The best dental experience I’ve ever had because I slept through it. Sedation dentistry is the greatest thing ever.
    —TODD
  • I was so blessed to have found you. Thank you for helping me so quickly.
    —BRUCE
  • Dr. Hetland told me my new teeth would help me chew better and help relieve my jaw pain. What I didn’t know was that they would make me feel so much better about myself. I just can’t stop smiling. Thank you!
    —ANITA
  • The Designer Smiles team is amazing. They took great care of my teeth when I didn’t and they did it without making me feel bad about all those years I neglected my teeth. I highly recommend them to EVERYONE!
    —MILES
  • Thank you for taking the time to make just a great smile for an old gal like me. I look and feel 10 years younger!
    —GLADYS
  • I had a great experience with Dr. Hetland and the whole staff at Desinger Smiles! I also had awesome results with the Six Month Smiles. Thank you for being so accommodating and enjoyable at all of my appointments!
    —CARLY
  • Another wonderful experience today with Dr. Hetland and his staff. They truly care about your care and comfort. This was my second crown procedure in the past 3 years. They had great notes from the time before to ensure I did not feel any discomfort. Thanks for everything
    —TERRY
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Making smiles bright extends beyond the doors of Designer Smiles, especially each March through June when we proudly participate in the Smiles For Life campaign. During this time, 100 percent of the proceeds from teeth whitening procedures go to children’s charities, including right here in the F-M area. This year, we have selected Haley's Hope Dyslexia Learning Center as the local charity of choice.

We make helping children and bright smiles easy—simply contact us to schedule your teeth whitening appointment. You get a brighter, whiter smile, and children get a reason to smile, as well. If you are already happy with your bright smile, simply ask about the other ways you can participate in helping children.Dr. Hetland is a Smiles For Life participating dentist in Fargo, North Dakota to benefit children's charities.