Our tongue, it’s one of those things we all take for granted! As children we explored the world with our tongues, licking everything in sight (much to our mother’s dismay) and sticking it out at our siblings and parents just to get their reaction. As young adults we learned there was more to our tongue while exploring our first kisses and exotic foods.
But the tongue is more than just a random body part, our tongues play a key role in our ability to taste and swallow food. And believe it or not, your tongue can also provide your dentist with clues to both your oral health and your overall health. In fact, you might be surprised what your tongue can tell you about your health. Get ready to say, “Ahhhhhhh!”
White Coating on Tongue
Your tongue should be a beautiful pink shade. When portions of your tongue tend to be coated with a white substance, it may be an oral thrush, an overgrowth of yeast that occurs within the oral cavity. It might be whitish, of course, not to brush your tongue while you brush your teeth. You’re doing that, you don’t? You’re ready to go if the white brushes back.
White Patches on Tongue
Leukoplakia is a disorder that can arise if the tongue, such as cigarettes or tobacco use, has been irritated. Every medical professional will advise you to leave that habit of tobacco, but ultimately it is up to you. However, if you see white patches, book a dentist appointment to be on the safe side and exclude oral cancer.
Overly Red Tongue
While an overly red tongue can be a symptom of a Kawasaki disease, it’s much more commonly associated with a vitamin deficiency, such as folic acid or B-12. The solution could be simply adding a vitamin supplement to your morning smoothie. That’s not so bad, right?
Irregular Red Bumpy Patches
If your tongue looks like a randomly drawn map with irregular red and bumpy lines, it’s not a fortune-teller indication you’re going on a trip in the near future. You may have a high fever, and taking a long trip overseas is the last thing you should do!
Tender, Sore Tongue
If in one spot or all over your tongue is overly sensitive, you may have an allergy to food or a canker sore. Unless it goes away for a while, don’t worry about it. After that, time to call a professional opinion in the dentist!
Yeah, it sounds strange, but sometimes a protein build-up may cause small bumps to become elongated trapping food resulting in hair strands on your tongue that look like that. A good cleaning and scraping of the tongue would typically take care of it, but if not, a visit to the dentist would be in order.
Your dentist is the first line of defense against both serious and benign health concerns. So, stick out your tongue at the dentist and be ready for a comprehensive oral checkup. You never know what your tongue might be telling you about your health! Worried about your tongue or just need to schedule a dental check-up? Find a dentist in Fremont, Union City, Bay Area, California using our interactive find a dentist feature on our website. We look forward to seeing you and seeing what that tongue of yours is telling us about your health.