Scalloped tongue: What you ought to know

Individuals with scalloped tongue have tongues with indented, rippled, or scalloped edges. Scalloping is easily the most noticeable around the outer sides from the tongue.

Scalloped tongue may also be known as rippled tongue, crenated tongue, piecrust tongue, or lingua indenta.

The problem isn’t painful or an indication of more severe complications, but knowing the reason for scalloped tongue might help prevent or treat any underlying conditions.


young woman sticking her tongue out
Individuals with scalloped tongue have indented, rippled, or scalloped edges alongside of the tongue.

A scalloped tongue could possibly be the consequence of macroglossia, that is an inflammatory reaction or abnormal enlargement from the tongue. It’s really a characteristic of other concerns that don’t enlarge the tongue.

If these conditions result in compression from the tongue from the teeth, tongue scalloping will result. Scalloping can result from a number of things, including:

Parafunctional activities

Also known badly habits, parafunctional activities are seen as the leading reason for scalloped tongue. Improper habits include teeth grinding, oral cavity sucking, and picking in the teeth.

A lot of things can result in an individual performing parafunctional activities, for example stress, sleep problems, systemic disease, poor tooth alignment or loss of tooth, and trauma.

Infection, injuries, or allergic attack

The defense mechanisms causes inflammation as a result of infection, injuries, and allergens. Certain reactions can result in swelling from the tongue.

Because the tongue swells and enlarges, it presses facing one’s teeth, frequently causing indentation or pitting.

Mineral and vitamin deficiencies

Scalloped tongue can happen once the body doesn’t get an adequate amount of certain minerals and vitamins, especially Vitamin b, be responsible for tongue enlargement.

Common dietary deficiencies that create scalloped tongue include:

  • vitamin b complex-12
  • riboflavin
  • niacin
  • iron

Lack of fluids

Lack of fluids may cause swelling, which might make the tongue to get compressed within the mouth and indented through the teeth.


Smoking causes an immune response and irritates the mucosal tissues, growing the chance of swelling and inflammation.

Smoking also increases the chance of lack of fluids, an issue recognized to influence the probability of developing scalloped tongue.

Temporomandibular joint conditions

Injuries or chronic conditions relating to the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw towards the skull could cause scalloped tongue.

Individuals with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may develop indents within their tongues due to lack of fluids, teeth grinding, or since the tongue is pushing from the lower teeth to support for that misaligned joint.

Scalloped tongue is most generally connected with TMD cases in females and individuals involving frequent headaches.

Anti snoring

Scalloped tongue can be a manifestation of anti snoring. Some studies suggest this might occur since the body maintains more water if this lacks oxygen, which results in fluid swelling within the mind, neck, and tongue.

A 2017 study analyzing over 1,000 Japanese adults found a greater prevalence of moderate to severe nocturnal intermittent hypoxia (NIH), the main manifestation of anti snoring, in individuals with scalloped tongues.

Inflammatory or infiltrative conditions

Problems that cause chronic or lengthy-term inflammation increase the chance of developing scalloped tongue.

Several infiltrative conditions (problems that cause an abnormal buildup of cells or tissues) can also be known to result in scalloped tongue.

Most of the health conditions considered risks for scalloped tongue are hereditary or handed down through genes. Many hereditary disabilities will also be considered to cause scalloped tongue either directly or not directly.

Inflammatory and infiltrative conditions connected with scalloped tongue include:

Additional signs and symptoms

young woman touching throat
If supported with a a sore throat, a scalloped tongue might be a sign of the underlying condition.

Scalloped tongue generally doesn’t cause any major signs and symptoms. However, it may be associated with a fundamental condition, which could cause signs and symptoms.

Apart from scalloped or rippled edges, additional mild signs and symptoms sometimes connected with scalloped tongue include:

  • discomfort
  • tenderness or soreness
  • overall slight redness
  • a sore throat


To identify scalloped tongue, a physician will first need to eliminate other potential conditions.

A physician asks someone to describe all of their signs and symptoms and can review their health background.

Additional tests a physician can include:

  • bloodstream tests
  • biopsy
  • computed tomography (CT) scan
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)


mouth guard to stop teeth grinding
A mouthguard might be recommended to avoid teeth grinding.

The suggested strategy to scalloped tongue depends upon the reason. For severe cases brought on by genetic, inflammatory, or infiltrative conditions, surgery might be essential to restore the tongue’s shape.

Potential treatment choices for scallop tongue include:

  • anti-inflammatory medications
  • dental devices, for example mouth pads
  • thyroid hormone medications
  • immunosuppressants
  • surgery to get rid of excess or abnormal deposits of tissues and cells
  • surgery to lessen how big the tongue or correct its shape
  • continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine
  • nasal dilators

Scalloped tongue brought on by serious conditions, for example t . b and cancer, will need individuals underlying conditions to become treated.

With respect to the cause, there might be natural methods to treat or lessen the signs and symptoms of scalloped tongue.

Natural home remedies for scalloped tongue include:

  • remaining hydrated
  • eating a proper, balance diet
  • practicing good dental hygiene
  • maintaining a proper weight
  • staying away from allergens or mouth irritation
  • stopping smoking
  • reducing panic and anxiety that can result in improper habits
  • dealing with an work-related counselor to re-train the tongue and prevent improper habits
  • applying warm compresses
  • applying ice for 10-minutes at any given time, with 20-minute breaks among several occasions daily
  • overtaking-the-counter discomfort and anti-inflammatory medications, for example ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  • treating chronic or underlying health conditions

When you should visit a physician

Generally, it may be beneficial for anybody having a scalloped tongue to find medical assistance, especially should they have experienced lengthy-term or painful signs and symptoms.

It’s particularly important to determine a physician if signs and symptoms don’t resolve once habits, for example teeth grinding, have stopped, or maybe signs and symptoms don’t react to hydration and anti-inflammatory medications.

While rare, severe signs and symptoms that is included with scalloped tongue may suggest more severe conditions.

The existence of a scalloped tongue might help doctors recognize and identify other health conditions, for example hypothyroidism (lower levels of thyroid hormones).

A physician will also help identify or assess habits that could lead towards the condition, for example teeth grinding, or create a referral to specialists.

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