What Does Your Tongue Say About Your Health?
You may not know this, but your tongue can say quite a lot about your health. There are several different signs your tongue can show, and they all represent different situations, so the next time you brush your teeth, don’t forget to open your mouth in front of the mirror, stick your tongue out, and look carefully. You may find something surprising!
But first, let’s remember what a healthy language should be like. Your tongue should be pink and covered with small papillae, also called nodules. Any other color, texture, or pain sensation should be a cause for concern. Let’s take a look at the list of possible problems and see if you should see a medical professional.
If you have white spots or a layer of white coating on your tongue, this could mean you have oral thrush, a yeast infection. The infection manifests itself as white spots with a consistency similar to cottage cheese. This infection usually occurs in people with compromised immune systems, such as infants or the elderly, as well as those who suffer from immune diseases or use certain types of steroids or antibiotics.
There are four possibilities for what a red tongue might indicate. There may be a vitamin deficiency, for example folic acid or B-12. A blood test will show if this is the case.
Another possible condition that can result in a red tongue is Kawasaki disease, which is seen in children younger than 5 years old and presents with high fever.
Red can make your tongue look like a strawberry. It is also often accompanied by fever and is treated with antibiotics. If you have these symptoms, please see a doctor to get your prescription.
Geographic language is a state that makes your language look like a map. There are reddish spots with a white border here and there. The condition is caused by vitamin deficiencies but is harmless on its own. There is no health or possible complications to your health.
This situation is also called “hairy tongue”. Nodules on our tongue can sometimes overgrow, as they never stop growing, just like hair and nails. This creates the perfect environment for bacterial growth, which can be dark in color and turn the tongue black. This is rare and not dangerous. Often the simple solution is to practice good dental hygiene, but people with compromised immune systems may also be vulnerable to developing a black tongue. This includes those undergoing chemotherapy, taking antibiotics or suffering from diabetes.
Tongue Ulcers or Lumps
This can be caused by several things, one of which is excessive smoking. It causes discomfort by irritating the skin on the surface of a person’s tongue. Another cause is mouth ulcers or aphthae. Most people will experience them sooner or later. We don’t know why it occurs, but stress is thought to be one of the causes. This problem will resolve itself in a week or two if left alone.
The bumps can be the result of physical trauma after burning your tongue with very hot coffee or accidentally biting it. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth, it can also hurt your tongue from the side. This will cause discomfort, but will eventually resolve on its own as well. And finally, one of the causes of tongue bumps is oral cancer. If you notice that weeks have passed, but the pain or ulcers have not yet cleared up on their own, have your tongue checked by a doctor. Oral cancer may not cause any pain in the early stages, so if you have reason to suspect you have it, don’t put off going to the doctor too long.
Now that you know all about possible language problems, you will know what to look for when checking. Add one more thing to your daily hygiene routine to be able to catch an infection early or prevent it completely. Remember, you should have your tongue examined by a medical professional if the bumps, discoloration, or pain don’t clear up on their own within a week or two.