Diseases & Conditions Anatomy Ear, Nose and Throat Pain Management
Home » Oral Health » Wavy Tongue

Wavy Tongue

The tongue is one of the most important parts of our bodies. It helps us in eating, tasting, talking and swallowing. But in addition to all these basic functions, the tongue also tells a lot of things about a person’s health. The doctors usually look at the tongue to find the sign of illness. The wavy tongue is one such sign. The wavy tongue is a condition that makes the tongue look irregular and a formation of waves like structures or scallops takes place along the sides.

The wavy tongue is known by numerous names such as scallop tongue, pie crust tongue, crenate tongue and lingua indentata. The wavy tongue is a sure sign for some major diseases and health conditions in the human body. Numerous diseases can cause the tongue to get wavy such as hypothyroidism, genetic disorders, injury, sleep apnea and much more. The change in the appearance of your tongue might mean nothing in some cases but if it is accompanied by some other symptoms, consulting a doctor is advisable.

Picture of Wavy tongue


Symptoms of the wavy tongue

The wavy tongue is not a disease; however, it sure can be seen as the symptom of other diseases. The wavy tongue is usually accompanied by some other symptoms. These symptoms help the doctors diagnose the reason behind the abnormal shape of the tongue. The other symptoms that need to be looked for with wavy tongue are:

  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Inflammation and pain in the tongue and the mouth
  • Redness on the tongue and the sides of the mouth
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the Jaw
  • Numbness in the tongue.


There are numerous big and small diseases and conditions that cause the wavy tongue. The wavy tongue can sometimes happen without any serious cause; however, it usually is depicting some kind of deficiency or disease. Here are the causes that can lead to the wavy tongue:

Swelling of the tongue

The swelling in the tongue is the basic reason for the wavy tongue. Since the tongue gets swollen and increases in size, it gets difficult for the mouth cavity to hold it. Hence the teeth create a wave-like a pattern on the tongue. The swelling of the tongue can be due to multiple reasons and can continue for days.

Voluntary and involuntary habits

Some habits such as biting the tongue or rubbing the tongue on the teeth can also lead to the formation of the wavy pattern on the sides of the tongue.


Dehydration is also a big reason for the swelling of various organs including the tongue. Dehydration is basically the deficiency of water in the body.

Deficiency of Vitamin and Minerals

There are numerous vitamins and minerals that are required for the body to function properly. The swelling of the tongue is a clear sign that a person’s body is lacking them.


Another reason for the swollen tongue that has a wave-like pattern is hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism happens when the body is not able to produce enough amount of thyroid hormone. This causes the swelling of the tongue and the face along with some other body parts.

Other Factors

Some other factors such as anxiety and allergies can also result in the wavy tongue. Additionally, people suffering from sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint syndrome also wake up to find wave-like patterns on their tongue. People who have a large tongue genetically also suffer from this condition quite often.


There is no actual treatment for the wavy tongue but the treatment of the underlying causes that are responsible for the wavy tongue. The most important step in the treatment is the correct diagnosis of the disease. For this the doctor would run a few tests and ask you about numerous signs and symptoms before coming to a conclusion. The wavy tongue can be treated with the following options:


Some of the reasons for a wavy tongue such as allergies, hypothyroidism and injury can be treated with the oral medicines or injectable medicines. These should only be prescribed by the doctors and no over the counter medicines should not be trusted.


People who have a habit of biting or chewing on their tongues need to go to the therapist in order to get rid of it. Therapy is also a good option for the people who are suffering from anxiety and depression.

Taking in Proper Nutrients

The deficiency of various minerals and vitamins can also cause the wavy tongue; hence, taking proper nutrition from the food is the best way to cure it. Also, keeping the body hydrated is also very important.


Exercising is really important for the body to function properly. Hence the people with the anxiety and thyroid issues need to exercise regularly in order to get rid of the disease.

Keeping Good Oral Health

Bad oral health can also cause wavy tongue, hence keeping the teeth and tongue clean can prevent the person from infections. Additionally, habits such as smoking and consuming any kind of tobacco also need to be done.

Keeping the Mind Healthy

Since anxiety is one of the causes of the swelling in the tongue and eventually creating the wavy pattern on the sides. Hence, maintaining a healthy mind by yoga and meditation or other activities is also important.

Apart from these treatments, taking preventive measures is also very important in order to prevent the tongue forming the wavy patterns. Furthermore, do not forget to look keenly for the symptoms that come with the wavy tongue.

Wavy tongue Pictures

How Dangerous is developing a Wavy tongue?

Developing a wavy tongue is not very dangerous and the diseases associated with it are also not deadly. However, these diseases can affect the person in the long run. The diseases like hypothyroidism and various deficiencies take a long time to heal so the treatment needs to be continued. If the symptoms such as persistent swelling, numbness of the tongue or pain continue for more than two days, giving the doctor a visit is really important.

4.9/5 - (64 votes)

Leave a Reply

© 2011-2017 HelloMrDoctor.com. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy
The health information provided on this web site is for educational purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.