Every organ in your body is important and has a specific function and the tongue is no exception. Our tongues enable us to speak and taste, which we already knew, but did you know that it can tell you a lot about the condition of your overall health? According to its shape, color, smell and so on you can determine if you’re healthy or not, and what you might have problems with. Here’s a guide into the different symptoms your tongue might exhibit and what they may mean.
Smooth and pink tongue
If your tongue is pink and smooth it means that you’re generally healthy. You probably have tiny bumps all over the surface which are called papillae and thanks to them you can taste different flavors.
This is a very interesting condition called lingua geographica, but it’s completely harmless. The only thing which may pose a problem if you have this pattern is the higher sensitivity to certain types of flavors, like spices and toothpaste. It’s a genetic condition and according to medicine it’s not a medical condition.
White lines on the tongue
This is a symptom of one of the most common mouth diseases called oral lichen planus. It can be quite uncomfortable, causing uncontrollable itching and heightened sensitivity in some cases, while in others it can be completely symptom free. There’s no course of treatment for this disease but it usually goes away on its own. It could help if you avoid alcohol and tobacco.
If your tongue is covered with a thick, yellow coating it most likely means that you have a fungal infection. This usually happens when your immune system is weak and it’s pretty common in teens and young children. You’re at higher risk of this condition if you’re wearing braces. If you have a yellow coating on your tongue you should consult your doctor and see how you can resolve this situation.
Sores or blisters on your tongue
Sores or blisters on your tongue can just happen due to an injury, if you’ve bitten or burned your tongue from hot food. Usually they last for a week or two and disappear, but if they last for longer you should go check them out. They might be a sign of cancer.
White coating is most usually a sign of poor oral hygiene or excessive alcohol consumption. Just brush your tongue regularly with a tongue scraper and drink lots of water; it will resolve your problem. It may look pretty unattractive but it’s nothing serious.
This condition appears as you get older but it’s nothing to worry about. If you notice swelling in addition to the fissures you should consult a doctor as it may be a symptom of the Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome.
This is a condition typical for young children because their tongues usually grow too fast for their mouth. If they appear in an adult it may be a sign of hypothyroidism which is why you need to consult a doctor.
Red and fleshy
If your tongue looks too red and ‘fleshy’ you maybe you’re not getting enough vitamins. A study at the Cleveland clinic in Ohio, USA, revealed that a red and fleshy tongue can be a symptom of vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies. If this is the case you need to start taking supplements which can be found in almost every pharmacy.
This symptom may look especially horrifying but there’s a really simple reason for it. Usually it’s the result of certain bacteria being triggered by poor oral hygiene. It can also appear in people with diabetes or after taking certain antibiotics. You need to start taking better care of your oral health, brush your teeth more regularly and maintain proper oral hygiene.
You’re probably surprised by all the changes which may happen to your tongue but it’s good to know that almost all of them can be resolved by simply upgrading our oral hygiene or taking some supplements.