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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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Have scalloped tongue. Noticed painless light colored wave on tongue. What could be this?

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Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1978

Answered : 6714 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 24 Jan 2013 in General Health
Question: I am a healthy 28 year old male curious about my tongue. I have what I have heard called "scalloped tongue" before or, a wavy tongue on the sides. I have no real concerns other than just making sure it is normal as seen in the pictures. The waves are a little lighter in color than the tongue itself and I just wanted to make sure they are indeed from scalloped tongue and not some kind of lesion. They do not feel any different, they feel the same as the tongue material. They do not hurt or offer any symptoms. They just appear on the tongue. Please take notice of the scalloped bump toward the front of the tongue as it is the largest and palest. I know I am worrying over nothing, but I just wanted to make sure. PS the aforementioned larger "bump" toward the front that is paler in color has the same taste buds and general "tongue bumps" that the rest of the tongue does. It does concern me though.
Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 2 days later
Hello XXXXXXX,
Thanks for the query.
Basically what you call a scalloped tongue is just indentations on the sides of tongue because of constant pressing of sides of tongue by the teeth.
A SCALLOPED TONGUE is in actuality a swollen or large tongue caused by the some medical disorder like hypothyroidism.
Your tongue is absolutely normal.
As far as paler parts of tongue are concerned,this is perfectly normal because of different density of capillaries on different parts of tongue.
Denser the capillaries,more red your tongue looks and vice-versa.

I hope it helps however you may revert to me for any further query.
Best of luck
Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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