Dr. Michael J. Wei, DDS, PC
Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael J. Wei is a top dentist specializing in general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry including smile makeovers, invisalign braces, dental implants and more.

Top Tongue Troubles to Know

Pain, soreness, and discoloration are uncomfortable symptoms to experience on your tongue, and if you don’t see your dentist often, you may be at risk. Here’s a quick look at the top tongue troubles to know.


There’s a variety of reasons why your tongue might hurt, from acute injuries to chronic lifestyle habits. You’ve probably experienced an acute injury to your tongue at some point in your life, even if it was a mild one. Burning your tongue on a hot slice of pizza or accidentally biting your tongue while chewing can cause lasting soreness. Burning tongue syndrome makes it feel like your tongue is burnt even if it hasn’t been, which occurs in some postmenopausal women. You might also experience soreness of the tongue if you’re a regular smoker, due to the irritation from the smoke. Although soreness usually goes away after a while, it could also be a symptom of oral cancer. If you notice a lump along with soreness that lasts for more than a week, talk to your dentist.


Different types of discoloration can mean different things. White patches might suggest leukoplakia or oral thrush, and while oral thrush can be easily cured, leukoplakia may lead to cancer. Red patches can also be benign or harmful, depending on the case. Kawasaki syndrome and scarlet fever can both come with fevers, and scarlet fever requires antibiotics.

Black Hair

A hairy black tongue can be shocking to see, but the good news is that it’s usually not a serious problem. Papillae, which are the bumps on your tongue, will grow over time and may become big enough to collect extra bacteria. The extra bacteria contribute to the dark color and makes your large papillae look somewhat like hair.

You can treat or even avoid tongue troubles by seeing your dentist serving Manhattan on a regular basis. Routine dental checkups give you a head start on handling oral health conditions. Call Dr. Michael J. Wei at (212) 982-4080 or browse our website for information.


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