Can anxiety cause scalloped tongue?

This article will discuss if anxiety can cause scalloped tongues. It will show what this happens, what scalloped tongue is, and what are the best ways to prevent and cope with it.

Can anxiety cause scalloped tongue? 

Yes, anxiety can cause scalloped tongues. When you are anxious, high-stress levels can bring you many oral problems. You may pressure your teeth too much, and it can lead to a scalloped tongue. 

But that is not the only oral issue you may have because of anxiety. When you are anxious, you can become so tense that you will feel pain in your jaw. It can also be that you will experience teeth grinding. But let’s understand a little more about the scalloped tongue.

What is a scalloped tongue? 

A scalloped tongue is one of the many names that are given to that wavy pattern that can form on your tongue when it is too closely pressed by your teeth. It can also be called a wavy tongue, or even a pie crust tongue.

But the scalloped tongue is not only marked by the wavy surface it gets, it can also cause the person to feel the pain that can go from mild to moderate, tenderness, achy throat, difficulty swallowing, and the person’s tongue can also become red.

It is not something that gives the person more serious troubles, but aside from anxiety, it can be an indicator of other conditions such as amyloidosis, dehydration, Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD), sleep disorders, nutritional deficiency, and allergic reaction, or infection, or even a sign that the person smokes.

As you are dealing with a scalloped tongue, your doctors and dentists will analyze X-rays and will develop the best plan of treatment. That can often involve you taking some anti-inflammatory medicine for some time, and getting a mouth guard.

If the scalloped tongue is caused by sleeping problems, you may benefit from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Aside from that, if the scalloped tongue is related to anxiety, you should try to manage that, and we will explain how you can do that shortly.

There are also things you can do in your everyday life to help you deal with scalloped tongues. You should try to care for what you eat, and drink, and if possible avoid smoking. Caring for your teeth, brushing, and flossing them, and going to the dentist regularly will also help.

You should also prevent taking things that can lead you to an allergic reaction since that can make your tongue swallow. And when it is necessary, you can apply a warm compress to make it better.

How to cope with scalloped tongue because of anxiety? 

There is no direct treatment for the scalloped tongue that is caused by anxiety. What you need to do is to learn how to manage the anxiety, and with time, that will show on your tongue. So here are the best ways to help you deal with anxiety.

Have a healthy lifestyle

Controlling your anxiety will be based on decisions you make in your everyday life. You should try to care for what you eat and drink. Be careful with caffeine, alcohol, things with too much sugar, and processed food, since they can often make you feel

more agitated, causing your anxiety to become worse.

Exercising is also something that will help you manage your anxiety. It lowers the level of the stress hormone called cortisol and gives you a boost of endorphins which give you an overall sense of well-being. To get that, you don’t need to be in a gym for hours and hours, sometimes just taking a walk can be a good start.

Do something you love

Nowadays we are constantly dealing with schedules, and running from one chore to the next. Taking the time to do something you love can be a way to get you out of that cycle. And not only that, it is a way for you to feel more energized, and less stressed, which will ultimately help your anxiety.

Put it out

Externalizing your feelings can be extremely positive when you have anxiety. You can do it by writing, or even by sharing with family or friends. It will not only help you vent, but it may also help you get a better understanding of what is happening, and separate the reality from what anxiety is leading you to think, and it ultimately can give you a new perspective on it all.

Use fragrances

The use of lavender fragrance when you shower, or as you go to bed is known for having a calming effect. Make it a part of your bedtime routine, and you may feel calmer.

Take up meditation

Meditation has been a known practice to help you cope with anxiety, and it is not the only one. You can also try Yoga, and breathing exercises. As you put yourself through any of them, you will ultimately focus on what is going on with your body at the moment. 

You will center your attention on your breathing, and your surroundings. This will take your mind away from the anxiety the racing thought brings, making you calmer.

Look for help

And sometimes, even though you are trying to manage your anxiety on your own, it still can be difficult, and that is okay. But when it happens, make sure that you look for professional support.

Get in touch with a therapist, so they can help you understand a little bit more about the feelings and emotions that are making you anxious. In that process, you may even learn more about what is triggering your anxiety, and how to deal with it more positively.

And sometimes, it may even be necessary for you to go to a psychiatrist. This doctor, that specializes in mental health, will check if you must take medication, which they can prescribe, and that will help with the symptoms of anxiety.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can anxiety cause scalloped tongue? 

How else can anxiety affect my tongue?

When you are anxious, you can feel, aside from the scalloped tongue, a tingling in your tongue, or it can feel numb, itchy, or even twitching. You can experience those sensations all over your tongue, in just one specific part of it.

You may also feel it migrating from one area of your tongue to the other, and the frequency and intensity of these symptoms can change from one person to the other. 

These sensations will happen to your tongue as a reaction to the stress that will come with anxiety. Because your tongue is a muscle and has many nerve cells, and blood vessels, as you get anxious, it will be affected.

And even though they are not something that will commonly happen when people are anxious, there is no reason to worry about it. To cope with those sensations, you should focus on caring for the triggers of your anxiety, and stress.

How can I prevent pins and needles caused by anxiety?

Pins and needles are feelings one can experience that make it seem that one of your limbs is sleeping. When you are anxious, you can feel like you are not getting enough air, and the hyperventilation, as you try to get more and more oxygen, you may begin to feel parts of your body tingling or the pins and needles in your limbs.

To prevent those the first thing to do is to try to breathe slowly, moving your body so the circulation is active can also help you prevent that sensation. Doing some light jogging to release more carbon dioxide, and reduce your stress levels is helpful, in the same way as distracting yourself with other matters.

What is the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety?

The 3 3 3 rule for anxiety is a breathing exercise that will help you calm yourself down whenever you feel anxiety is taking the best of you. You can use it as many times as you want, and there is no contraindication to it.

As you feel anxiety is taking over, try to breathe deeply, and then try to name three things you hear around you. After that, you should try to name three things you see around where you are, and then three body parts.

But doing that you will not only give yourself a chance to breathe, but you will also take your mind out of those racing thoughts anxiety brings, and put them somewhere else. With time, you may notice that your anxiety is less intense and that you feel calmer.

What are the most common symptoms of anxiety?

The most common symptoms of anxiety can impact you physically, and emotionally. Physically it will affect your heart beating, making it faster, and change your breathing, which can become faster, shallow, or you may even gasp for air. It can cause you to sweat, shake, tremble, or even experience tingling, or numbness.

It will usually make you feel weak and tired, and make sleeping more difficult. Aside from that, anxiety can affect your gastrointestinal system. Emotionally, anxiety will make you feel constantly tense, and relaxing may become hard.

You may have a feeling of impending doom, like something bad is about to happen, and this can make you panic. It may be hard to focus on other things since the reason you are worried is always in your mind.

And since anxiety leads to such an uncomfortable feeling, as you begin to notice what makes you anxious, you may begin to try to avoid exposing yourself to that.

Is anxiety all in my head?

No, anxiety is not all in your head. Although anxiety can come, sometimes, from concerns that are not always based on real events, what you feel is real. The symptoms you experience when you are anxious are real, and you should never believe otherwise.

Some people may disregard what you experience when you are anxious as if it is just a scene, or you are being dramatic. But know that anxiety is a serious mental health condition, that the person can’t control, and can only improve through treatment.

Knowing it is not all in your head, and it is not a choice will surely help you look at this through kinder eyes. You can sometimes feel so bad because of your anxiety that you just try to act as if it is not there. But know that looking at it, and getting treatment is the bravest thing you can do for yourself.


This article showed the connection between the scalloped tongue and anxiety. It explained what a scalloped tongue is, and how to cope with it when it is caused by anxiety.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


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