South India’s largest dental, skin, and hair clinic with 130+ multispecialty clinics

29 Sep
Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health

What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health

The tongue is more than just a random body part; they play an important role in our ability to taste and swallow food. And, believe it or not, your tongue can give your dentist information about both your oral and overall health.

A healthy tongue should be pink with small nodules (papillae). Any change in the appearance of your tongue, as well as any pain, may be cause for concern.

Reasons why you should watch your Tongue:

  1. White Tongue/White coating:
  • Your tongue should be a lovely shade of pink. Oral thrush, a yeast overgrowth that occurs inside the oral cavity, may cause parts of it to appear coated with a white substance.
  • Of course, it could also simply be whitish from not brushing your tongue after eating.
  1. White Patches on Tongue:
  • Leukoplakia is a condition in which the cells in the mouth proliferate uncontrollably, resulting in white patches on the tongue and inside the mouth. This occurs when the tongue is irritated, as with smoking or tobacco use.
  • Every medical professional will advise you to quit smoking, but the decision is ultimately yours. If you notice white patches, make an appointment with your dentist to be on the safe side and rule out oral cancer.
  1. Red Tongue:

A lack of folic acid and vitamin B-12 may cause your tongue to turn reddish.

  1. Strawberry tongue:
  • Scarlet fever is an infection that causes the tongue to look like a strawberry (red and bumpy). You should see your doctor if you have a high fever and a red tongue.”Antibiotics are required for the treatment of scarlet fever.”
  • Kawasaki disease is a condition that can cause the tongue to resemble a strawberry. It typically affects children under the age of five and is accompanied by a high fever. Kawasaki disease is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
  1. Black and hairy:
  • The papillae on your tongue, like hair, grow throughout your life. They become excessively long in some people, making them more likely to harbor bacteria.
  • When these bacteria grow, they may appear dark or black, and the overgrown papillae may appear hair-like.
  • Fortunately, this condition is rare and usually not serious. It is most common in people who do not practice good dental hygiene.
  • People who have diabetes, are on antibiotics, or are undergoing chemotherapy may develop.
  1. Geographic tongue :
  • It is characterized by the formation of a map-like pattern of reddish spots.
  • These patches may have a white border around them, and their location may change over time. “In most cases, the geographical tongue is harmless.”
  1. Sore tongue:
  • Trauma – Biting your tongue or scalding it on something hot from the oven can cause a soreness until the damage heals. Grinding or clenching your teeth can also irritate and cause pain on the sides.
  • Smoking causes irritation and soreness.
  • Mouth ulcers or canker sores – Many people experience canker sores at some point in their lives. The exact cause is unknown, but stress is thought to be a factor. Canker sores usually heal on their own in a week or two.
  • Oral cancer – If a lump or sore is formed, it does not go away after two weeks, it could be an indication of oral cancer. Keep in mind that many oral cancers are painless.

Watch your tongue!

When brushing your teeth, it is advisable to also check it on a daily basis. If discoloration, lumps, sores, or pain do not go away within two weeks, they should be monitored and evaluated by a medical professional.