What Can Your Tongue Tell You about Your Health

The main role of the tongue is to detect taste; however, it has some other properties such as pronouncing words and also showing how healthy you really are. There are a lot of factors which can come into play here including texture change, presence of sores or blemishes, and change in color. All of them may point to the fact that you need some medical help.

  1. Textural changes:
  • Smoothness – it may be a sign of glossitis, meaning that the tongue is inflamed, and the papillae (little hairy bumps) on the tongue have been lost. This condition is mainly caused by nutritional deficiencies (iron and vitamin B).
  1. Sores and blemishes:
  • Canker sores – these are not cold sores. They are small, shallow ulcers which appear in the mouth and on the underside of the tongue. It is very hard to eat and if you notice any sores along with yellow centers and red borders, then they are cankers. The main cause for this is the stress. Even though they are less harmless, they make it hard to chew the food comfortably.
  • Bumps – bumps around the top of the tongue may be a sign of an infection or allergic reaction. They are not very irritating, but could be a sign that more adverse effects are going deeper within the body.
  • Strawberry tongue – this issue occurs in 2 stages. First it starts with swelling and white veering which coats parts of the tongue. This is an early indication of scarlet fever in children. Then 4-5 days later, the second stage comes, named red strawberry tongue. Then the tongue reddens and becomes even more swollen. The intense red color may be a sigh on Kawasaki disease which is an immune health issue which affects children where the blood vessels are being inflamed throughout the body.Untitled-1
  1. Color changes:
  • White – it is a sign of dehydration and debris trapped within the papillae and can be taken care of through cleaning the tongue and brushing it out regularly. If you smoke, the condition may worsen.
  • Black – it is a result of bacteria and debris building up the tongue surface and can be caused by tobacco, mouthwash and antibiotics abuse. Careful brushing and cleaning can help in its cleaning.
  • Red – depending on the severity, it can be a sign of scarlet fever or Kawasaki disease.
  • Brown – it may be a sign of melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer.
  • Yellow – this is due to smoking, fevers, and dehydration, but in extreme cases it may indicate a liver disease. Be careful to what you put into your mouth and make sure to clean it properly and regularly.source:livingtraditionally