It is possible to know the general state of your health through the color, texture and moisture of your tongue.
The tongue consists of a group of muscles that allow us to taste and swallow the food and speak. “Our tongue is richly supplied with blood vessels. With a constant flow of saliva, it is constantly being cleaned, which discourages harmful bacteria to form in the mouth. However, if a person is ill, a problem can often be detected simply by looking at his tongue, “says Laurence Kirk, naturopath.
Indeed, a glance on your tongue can provide lots of information on what is happening in your body. When your tongue has unusual features such as discoloration, swelling or stiffness is that it is trying to tell you something.
Changes in appearance of your tongue may indicate a vitamin deficiency or report of a lack of hygiene, for example. However, these changes can announce something much more serious that may require medical intervention.
To find out if you are healthy, check the appearance of your tongue in the mirror, and then compare it to the following descriptions to determine its state.
A healthy normal tongue should be pink, without imbalance or marks. This appearance is a sign of a well-balanced health.
The taste buds of your tongue can sometimes become black because of trapped bacteria and yeast. This color can also be attributed to contamination of the taste buds caused by certain foods and tobacco. Poor oral hygiene is often an important factor. Called the “black hairy tongue,” this disease is harmless but unsightly.
Some antibiotics, mouthwashes and other drugs may be responsible for this color. This may also be indicative for cases of dehydration or excessive coffee consumption. Heavy smokers can also suffer from this. This can result in a metallic taste or bad breath. Use a tongue scraper or a soft brush to clean the tongue regularly. Also make sure to floss and toothbrush daily. If this state lasts longer than 10 days, consult a doctor.
A yellow tongue is also the result of bacteria trapped on your taste buds. These can ignite due to dehydration, breathing through the mouth rather than the nose, fever or smoking. Meticulous oral hygiene should solve the problem and make your tongue pink.
Some people develop a coating or white spots on the surface of their tongue. This can have several causes. In fact, dehydration (which can be easily rectified by drinking more water), yeast infection or candida can cause visible white lesions, not only on the tongue but also on the mucous membrane of the mouth. People with immune disorders as well as young children and the elderly wearing dentures are most at risk.
Candida is also a common side effect in patients to whom antibiotics for some disease were prescribed. Moreover, leukoplakia, an overgrowth of cells, can also cause white spots in the mouth and on the tongue. Smokers are most frequently affected. This condition is usually harmless, but it can be a precursor to cancer of the mouth. Note the changes and then see a doctor.
Red tongue like a strawberry
The “strawberry tongue” is so called because the buds become red and swollen. The surface of the tongue, normally smooth, is dotted with seeds resembling as those in the strawberries. This may be due to the following reasons: a deficiency of vitamins or scarlet fever. In the first case, it is recommended to increase the level of folic acid and vitamin B-12 in your diet or through supplements. In the second case, consult a doctor.
Furthermore, Kawasaki disease can manifest itself in the appearance of a strawberry tongue causing a high fever. This is a disorder characterized by inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body. It is most common in children under five, but can also affect some older children. In short, if your tongue is bright red and you have a fever, see a doctor immediately.
If the spots on the tongue becomes brown or black it can be a form of skin cancer called melanoma. See a doctor if you notice such changes.
Pain or bumps on the tongue
The main causes that can cause pain or small bumps on an area of your tongue are: diabetes, anemia, smoking, too spicy food. Some women report a burning sensation on their tongue when they undergo a post-menopausal stress, which can cause ulcers. Irritated or infected buds can cause swelling thereof. This can cause a mouth cancer, especially in smokers and drinkers. See a doctor if the pain lasts longer than two weeks. In addition, small cracks or cuts on the surface of the tongue may indicate a fungal infection such as oral thrush. They may also be indicative of sleep disorders, irritability or increased sweating.
Numbness or tingling of the tongue
A tongue absent of sensations occurs as a result of damage to your nervous system. This may be the result of dental procedures such as wisdom teeth removal, root canal treatment or dental implants. A stroke can also damage the nerves of the tongue and cause numbness or tingling.
To have a healthy tongue, eat organic yogurt containing natural probiotics, stop smoking, reduce your alcohol intake, brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, gargle your mouth with salt water and rinse your mouth after every meal.
Every time you feel pain, burning, swelling, changes in your ability to taste or difficulty in moving your tongue, do not hesitate to consult a doctor.