Scalloped Tongue and Hypothyroidism

Do you have a scalloped tongue? Do you also have hypothyroidism? If you’ve answered yes to both, then you may not be aware of the connection between them. 

It is actually very common to have a scalloped tongue with hypothyroidism, and having had it years before being diagnosed, too. 

I myself have one, and have always thought it was a bit odd, as I didn’t notice anyone else with one, but my dentist told me that my tongue was scalloped due to grinding and clenching my teeth at night. Being a natural worrier, I put it down to that, too, until I came across an article about it. 

I’m going to cover some things we know about it, below. 

Dr. Wiggy has said: “Sometimes the tongue gets too big for the mouth and actually pushes up against the sides of the teeth and that can suggest the tongue is too large because there are too many toxins. A lot of times that is from having low thyroid.” 

This push up against the teeth over a long time causes it to become scalloped.

Toxins can affect thyroid function by a) blocking cell receptors so thyroid hormones can’t do their job probably, and b) there’s evidence that toxins can damage the thyroid gland directly. This damage makes the thyroid less effective and more prone to disease and underactivity. I’ve covered this in more detail here.

So, we need to look at detoxifying. As mentioned here, you can help to detoxify your body by drinking at least two litres of water a day, avoiding things that cause inflammation or are sensitivities e.g. gluten and food sensitivities, removing caffeine from your lifestyle, avoiding goitrogens and try to sweat toxins out on a daily basis. If you don’t do this a lot normally, try physical exercise, hot baths  (detox baths with a cup of Epson Salts to draw out toxins) and saunas. If we don’t sweat enough, we don’t get rid of enough toxins.

You should address any constipation or diarrhoea, and be sure to be going to the loo regularly to be flushing toxins out your body that way, too. Many sources also say to avoid fluoride, so drink water not containing this, where possible. Fluoride is also seen as a toxin.

Ensuring you have enough iodine in your diet may also help a scalloped/enlarged tongue, as it’s often low in thyroid patients. However, supplementing this is controversial.

Dr. Skinner mentioned in his book Diagnosis and Management of Hypothyroidism that an enlarged tongue can even be uncomfortable, cause slurring of the speech and even voice change. He attributed it to the chronicity of the hypothyroidism in that patient.

Also worth knowing is that a white-coated tongue could be an indication of a yeast (candida) overgrowth. Candida is a fungus that lives in your mouth and intestines and its job is to help the digestion and absorption of nutrients. However, an overgrowth can occur, which is pretty common in Hashimoto’s patients especially and can lead to the breakdown of the intestine walls.

Remember to check your tongue and see if it looks like any of the ones shown here. You can always have your doctor run tests to confirm your self-examination. The tongue is an important indication of your overall health and you need to pay attention to it. There are a few other tongue hints that were not listed on here, which is why we always encourage you to do your research. Do you know of another tongue symptom that wasn’t listed here? Share is with us in the comments below!

I feel so stupid for missing it all these years when I knew it didn’t look right!

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I run a Facebook group, called Thyroid Family: Hypothyroidism Advice & Support Group. This group is for underactive thyroid/hypothyroidism patients only, and not medical professionals or anyone else. If you have any questions on living with hypothyroidism, or want some support, help or advice, please join us. 

I also run a group for the spouses, partners and other halves of hypothyroid patients, called Hypothyroid Patients Other Halves – Support & Advice Group. This is for the other halves only and not patients. 



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