Wavy Tongue Edges – Causes, Symptoms, and Cure

scalloped tongueA wavy tongue means that you hold your teeth together at night and push your tongue against your teeth. Are red and white bumps and dents present on both sides of the tongue? It corresponds to a depression between your teeth. This state is called “scalloped tongue”. It is not serious, just unpleasant. To cure it immediately, rinse with hydrogen peroxide and spit out thoroughly.

Your wavy tongue edges may have the following causes:

  • TMJ
  • Anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Anemia
  • Spleen QI deficiency
  • Oral jewelry / piercings
  • And sleep apnea
  • It may also be related to nutritional deficiency

As your tongue swells and indents it either pushes it against your teeth or makes you constantly chew on the edge of your tongue. Most people’s tongue are relaxed. If you have scalloped/wavy tongue, yours is not. Think about your tongue during the day. If you are really nervous, it will cause a lingual indentation. Please relax your tongue. Find out what is stressing you, and try to solve it.

My dentist personally said my scalloped tongue was due to clenching my teeth at night. But I think it’s because I have a small mouth.

If you just undulate after opening your mouth, your tongue will become scalloped permanently and less likely to reform in a few seconds.

TMJ (Lock-Jaw)



TMJ stands for tempro-mandibular joint disease. Becaue the condition causes tongue swelling, TMJ patients often have scalloped tongues with lots of small bumps on both sides. The indentation comes from pushing the over-large tongue into the side of the tooth. Taste buds are on the top of the tongue, and sometimes the tastebud is stimulated, inflammation occurs and it grows up. This type of tongue bump may burn and hurt. Burnt taste buds usually disappear within a week.

gree-check-mark Solution: If the tongue bumps continue to grow, if the tongue is painful or ulcerated, visiting the dentist as soon as possible is very important. After visual assessment, the dentist and you can do a biopsy and you can accurately judge the cause of the problem. Oral cancer is often ulcerated and usually grows rapidly, sometimes with pain or sore.


Several medical conditions may cause this, but the tongue is only a muscle. Anxiety often causes extreme muscle tension. With constant anxiety over time we will constantly contract the muscles and cause pain and stiffness in various places. Also, your tongue literally stresses / strains from the tension of your jaw.

Nevertheless, it is a good “clue” and should be presented to the doctor as a strange “signboard” to you, it is probably not mentioned that it is the first referring to it from the doctor first. Please watch the anxiety and what you can do to deal with it.

There is no standard timing for how long an anxiety attack will last. Your medication, case history, past experience, current exposure, current CBT and desensitization are highly dependent on what you received from counselors and psychologists. But please discuss your symptoms with psychologists and psychiatrists (doctors) and let them know if have drunk any alcohol recently. There may be adjustment periods that cause anxiety from drug changes.

gree-check-mark Solution: If you prefer self treatment, start doing rigorous cardiovascular exercise, and eat a little more healthy five times a week.



Wavy / scalloped tongue may be due to dehydration. In cases of extreme dehydration, the tongue can crack, swell, and become scalloped. You could become extremely dehydrated and have to go on IV fluid.

If you are throwing up from influenza or disease, you will be dehydrated again and the cycle of illness will continue. Do you have medications to help control vomiting? If you don’t, I encourage you to see your GP and see what you can get. I personally recommend ondandestone. It is the only medicine to touch even my side of HG.

gree-check-mark Solution: The simple answer is to drink as much water as possible throughout the day. If your urine is clear, you are hydrated.

Hypothyroidism / gastrointestinal problems

Seeing a wavy tongue means that something may be wrong with your digestive system. In the case of thyroid disease, the tongue bulges and runs up against the tooth’s edge. It is just one of the external signs of thyroid disease. There are also many possible symptoms.

Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism is a very common problem, for which there are many reasons, including drinking chlorinated fluoridated water and eating brominated flour.

Chlorine, fluoride and bromine are all in the same family as iodine and can replace iodine in the thyroid gland.

Secondly, many people simply can not get sufficient iodine from their diet. The amount obtained from iodide salt is only enough to prevent developing goitre.

gree-check-mark Solution: In order to maintain the health of your thyroid gland, consume vitamin B found in cereals, nuts, seeds, iodine (fish, seaweed, vegetables, root vegetables etc) naturally. Please exercise at least 30-60 minutes every day, 4-5 times a week. Practice other techniques that cause “relaxation reactions” such as deep breaths, meditation, or guided visualization.



Anemia is the state without iron in the blood. A subtle symptom of iron deficiency is atrophic glossitis, also known as swollen tongue. For people with glossitis there is sufficient swelling, the normal ridges on the tongue’s surface disappear, and your tongue looks smooth. Swelling may cause problems with chewing, swallowing, or talking. Swelling of the tongue may also push up the tooth again, creating a wavy tongue edge.

gree-check-mark Solution: Iron tablets, droplets, or pills are available as over-the-counter drugs. In addition, eat healthy meals of breakfast oatmeal, spinach, broccoli, and black beans with a lot of iron.

Spleen QI deficiency

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the tongue has much to do with organs in the body. Let’s consider the state of the tongue reflecting discord of your body.

* When the body of the tongue is in a normal color, this usually means spleen Qi deficiency
* If there is a tooth mark on the tongue’s edge along with a swollen tongue, this may indicate sheep shade and / or Qi deficiency.
* If the tongue is thin and moist, it is more likely that it is a spleen positive deficiency or a cold sensation pattern.

Shortness of breath: Splenic eczema (the cause of wavy tongue edges according to TCM) can be cured in various ways:

* Warmth: Like a warm bath, warm dry weather or warm climate; or a warm wrap.
* Continuous movement including limb extension
* Rubbing (or massaging, for example, tapping a wound around a swollen joint can improve the pain: NB massage against contusion is not recommended)
* Something that loses blood such as nosebleeds in the moisture.
* Support or hold the affected area. (But keep it light: Do not grip too tightly!)

Tongue jewelry / piercing

The scalloped tongue is not something you normally need to worry about. However, someone with a big tongue or a history of tongue scalloping should really rethink getting an oral piercing. Do you press your tongue against your teeth when swallowing? Jewelry in the oral cavity occasionally causes swallowing redevelopment / re-learning to change the muscle non-uniformly, appearance changes over time, and it is necessary to repair the orthodontic work (braces).

gree-check-mark Solution: I will normally remove all oral jewelry from my patients, or at least look at the weight, length and placement of the jewelry. Your tongue piercer does not require medical training and earns money from the procedure. Please keep this in mind, and ask for approval from dental professionals beforehand.

Sleep apnea attack

You may have a seizure during your sleep. When people have seizures, they tend to bite both sides of their tongue. Perhaps there are some sleep problems that are causing seizures. (You can see marks of bites on the side of the tongue where your teeth were clamped while you are holding it) It is my guess anyway.

Epilepsy can cause seizures during sleeping , as well as causing seizures in the daytime. Also, sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders can cause them.

gree-check-mark Solution: Lateral sleep. If your sleep apnea syndrome is very bad, you can not sleep on your back, as the throat muscles slide your jaw behind and force your tongue into your throat.


B vitamin deficiency causes various problems in the human tongue. B2 deficiency can cause glossitis (ie, the tongue becomes inflamed and pink) and mild sensitivity. If B3 is lacking, Pellagra, a disease accompanied by symptoms such as sunburn, diarrhea, irritability, swelling of the tongue, mental confusion, dermatitis, etc. occurs, and even in severe cases it may result in death. Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, helps the body absorb and metabolize amino acids, use fat, and form red blood cells. Vitamin deficiency can result in a smooth and swollen tongue.

Sore throat and erosion in the corner of the mouth are generally the first symptoms of vitamin B deficiency. Following this, swollen tongue, seborrheic dermatitis, anemia, and disorders of neuronal function may follow.

Mouth guards can help


You can wear a guard on your mouth to sleep. It protects the teeth and prevents your tongue from being pushed into them. There is a possibility that you are mashing your tongue on your teeth. In such a case, you might try a mouth guard that you use for sports. If you notice a mitigation of the problem, meet with your dentist. He can make up a more comfortable mouth guard for you.

Do I need to worry?

Scalloped tongue is not a big deal, as I’ve had mine for years. They say that scalloped (wavy) tongue is probably due to iodine deficiency, mild anemia, bruxism, or just a small mouth.

Crowding your teeth and tongue together, pushing your tongue forward and putting it in your teeth increases the chances of getting a wavy tongue, but it’s not a serious medical problem. It just looks a bit strange. Consult a dentist if there are other indications of poor health in your mouth, such as the sudden appearance of a white or black ulcer. If your tongue edges continue to crowd your teeth, you can make a custom night guard to protect your teeth and chin.