5 things your tongue can tell you about your health

Your tongue can reveal quite a bit about your health.

While most of us don’t make tongue examinations a daily thing, they can inform you about many potential underlying conditions.

While bumps, spots, and patches can be perfectly normal, but sometimes they can be symptoms of certain issues you may need to address. 

  1. White patches

White, creamy spots appearing on your tongue’s surface may indicate you have a fungal infection. Thrush can happen after using antibiotics or other medication that throws off the balance of the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth. 

It is caused by Candida Albicans overgrowth, sometimes appearing due to smoking, pregnancy, or dentures. Diabetes might also play a risk factor.

If you notice white patches on your tongue, it may be wise to pay a visit to Orthodental and we can help you treat the underlying cause. 

  1. A hairy tongue

Although this may seem unlikely, a coating that looks like hair is probably caused by proteins that turn normal, small bumps into lengthy strands, which trap food particles and bacteria.

Even if it goes away after brushing or scraping, you should still come in for a check-up to make sure no problems arise again.

A tongue scraper may help maintain good oral health and prevent the issue from resurfacing in the future. 

  1. Redness

If you notice that your tongue is unusually red, folic acid and vitamin B-12 deficiencies are the most likely cause. Consider getting supplements and following a more nutrient-dense diet to ensure a well-functioning immune system, as not having enough of the two can lead to fatigue. 

If the redness is followed by a high fever, alert your doctor – it could mean that you are suffering from scarlet fever, usually treated with antibiotics. 

  1. Sore and bumpy tongue

If you have painful bumps, they’re probably caused by trauma due to biting or burning your tongue from food that didn’t have enough time to cool. Grinding can also be another reason for soreness.

If you’re sure you didn’t have any accidents, other reasons could be smoking or canker sores. 

Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, happen to most people at a certain point and usually go away on their own within two weeks. 

Maintain your usual dental hygiene habits, if the bumps and pain persist call into us and we can have a closer examination to see what the problem is.

  1. Smooth tongue

If you see that your tongue is unusually glossy without any bumps and is bright in colour, this could mean that you lack certain nutrients. Consider boosting your diet with foods rich in iron, folic acid, and B vitamins – it won’t hurt to eat healthily!

Another reason for an unusually sleek tongue could be celiac disease or the use of certain medications. 

Although everyone’s tongue is slightly different, a healthy tongue is pink in colour and should be covered with small nodules called papillae. 

If you are worried about how your tongue looks or simply want a second opinion, book an appointment today and we can put all your worries to rest.

Until then keep cleaning your teeth regularly and use mouthwash for that added protection.