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Decoding Scalloped Tongue: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

So, you are brushing your teeth and cleaning your tongue, and you see that your tongue is not as smooth from the sides as it used to be and is supposed to be.

“What are these waves?” One might think.

It is a scalloped tongue.

Do you need to be worried? No.

Is it benign? Yes.

Do you need treatment? Yes.

This blog discusses corrugated tongue in detail, and you must read it until the end to learn all about its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Also, book an appointment with Peace of Mind Dental Studio for a quick diagnosis.

Understanding Scalloped Tongue

Your tongue is supposed to be pink, moist, and smooth. However, if anything is wrong with your body, it is reflected in your mouth, sometimes through the swelling or indentation on the tongue. An indented tongue has ripples, waves, or indents on the sides, making it appear distinct and not normal.

However, do not worry, and book an appointment today!

Causes of Scalloped Tongue

Are you wondering what has caused these ripples on your tongue? There can be multiple reasons. Check out which one is the cause behind your corrugated tongue.


People don’t know it, but anxiety affects you physically as well. It is not just a mental issue. Your hands fidget, your breathing is labored, you feel tingling in the tips of your fingers and toes, and you clench and unclench your jaw numerous times, causing a scalloped tongue. If you have high anxiety levels, then it might be the reason behind this tongue anomaly. 


Did you know that merely a 1% shortage of water in the body causes thirst, and dehydration is caused by a 7-8% shortage of water in the body? When your body is dehydrated, your body parts are affected in a peculiar manner; say, your tongue swells, or ripples appear on its sides. So, if your mouth is constantly dry and you don’t drink enough water, the ridged tongue might result.


Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid hormones in your body are less than normal. It leads to multiple health conditions, including hair loss and swelling of the tongue.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s tongue relaxes a little too much while sleeping, causing problems with breathing. When the tongue relaxes, it is often caught between the teeth, causing an indentation. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can even lead to type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, etc. If you have sleep apnea, consult the best dentist in Chandler at Peace of Mind Dental Studio.

Nutritional Deficiencies

If you are not eating a balanced diet and lacking essential nutrients, it is visible through your ridged tongue.

Impact of Hypothyroidism on Scalloped Tongue

Hypothyroidism is a  common cause of scalloped tongue. If you have a scalloped tongue and haven’t had your thyroid tested before, it is important to consult a dentist.

At Peace of Mind Dental Studio, we examine our patients thoroughly and learn about the symptoms and the severity of the ridged tongue to find out the correct reason.

In case of hypothyroidism, we advise a thyroid examination. You must consult your doctor about this. 

In addition, it is also advised that when visiting Peace of Mind Dental Studio, Chandler, AZ, be honest and transparent about your overall health, medications, and medical history (such as hypothyroidism), so we can prescribe suitable treatment.

Treatment Options for Scalloped Tongue

Scalloped tongue treatment depends on the cause of the problem, so the treatment is directly related to it:


If you have a corrugated tongue, then the first home remedy is to start drinking lots of fluids. Drink plenty of water, and see if the condition improves.


If anxiety is the reason behind your scalloped tongue, then anti-anxiety medicines can help. You must consult your doctor about this.


In case of hypothyroidism, you must undergo a thyroid test, and if it is positive, then the right medications shall help.

Sleep Apnea

In the case of sleep apnea, you need a CPAP machine that regulates the air passage and improves the condition.

The best way to get rid of an indented tongue is to consult Peace of Mind Dental Studio today so we can determine the cause and treat it.

Corrugated Tongue: A Unique Oral Phenomenon

Corrugated tongue is not a common problem, and it is only caused by the problems stated above. It is a benign condition, and many people don’t even notice the changed shape of their tongue. However, if it causes severe discomfort and pain, then treatment becomes important.

At Peace of Mind Dental Studio, we offer scalloped tongue treatment. If you are searching for the best dentist in Chandler, choose Peace of Mind Dental Studio.

Call us today for an appointment!

Frequently Asked Questions

Que: Can I treat scalloped tongue at home?

Ans: If the underlying cause of the ridged tongue is dehydration, you can treat it at home. Drink plenty of fluids, and the waves shall go away. However, if it doesn’t help, consult us at Peace of Mind Dental Studio.

Que: When should I see a doctor for a scalloped tongue?

Ans: If you notice the waves alongside the tongue appearing too frequently, you should consult the dentist.

Que: What are the symptoms of scalloped tongue?

Ans: The symptoms of a scalloped tongue are pain, swelling around the tongue, discomfort in chewing or talking, etc.

Written by Dr. Silverman

Dr. Silverman is the co-founder of Peace of Mind Dental, a Chandler Arizona, general dentistry practice.