Tongue diagnosis has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years. Over 280 diseases or “imbalances” can be diagnosed through the proper use of this method.
I was first introduced to this concept several years ago and although I have a very limited experience in this field, it has given me yet another opportunity to witness how the mouth and body are truly connected in a holistic fashion.
During an oral examination, not only are we evaluating the periodontal and dental conditions of our patients, but we also observe the condition of the tongue and interrupt the information that it provides for us.
A normal tongue is described as light red in color with a thin white coating. The tongue should not be too wet or too dry. The tongue should be without cracks or crevices.
When imbalances or disease conditions exist in the body, the tongue may exhibit unique conditions that a biologic dentist will usually be familiar with. For example; a yellowish or yellow-green color tongue may indicate a liver or gallbladder problem. A gray or brownish-gray tongue suggests a stomach or intestinal concern. A white tongue implies that the body is releasing toxins. A border, with the edges showing the teeth outlines usually signifies a mineral deficiency. Indentations or cracks on the tongue surface may reveal a vitamin deficiency.
These are just a few examples of the information the tongue can provide to the observant practitioner. “The mouth is a window of opportunity” in my practice because I can learn so much from a clinical examination, even before I pick up my explorer or take dental x-rays.
If your tongue shows any of these conditions, do not stress out or push the panic button. Just be aware that these are warning signs for you to begin paying attention to a deficiency in your body, and take the appropriate actions to get the problems corrected. Consult your doctor and together evaluate your current health conditions.
Two suggestions that may be helpful in addressing these imbalances are a liver gall-bladder flush combined with a body-cleansing diet. Both of these may help to balance your body chemistry, eliminate toxins and provide you with an energy boost that everyone is looking for.