What Your Tongue Says About Your Health
Your tongue is pretty amazing. Just think of all the things it does for you! It lets you taste your favorite foods. It helps you chew. It starts the process of swallowing. It’s clear that your tongue plays a very important role in your life. But did you know that your tongue can also be a good indicator of your overall health? Join us at the Dentist of Siouxland as we take a look at what your tongue can tell you.
Symptoms and What They Mean
There are many different things to look out for when inspecting your tongue. We’ve outlined some of them below so that you can look out for your oral and overall health.
- White Tongue: If your tongue has white patches, it could be thrush. Thrush is a fungal infection that most often occurs after an illness or if you are taking medications that can affect the bacteria in your mouth. However, if the white areas are hard and can’t be scraped away it could be leukoplakia, which is linked to cancer.
- “Hairy” Tongue: If it looks like there are patches of brown, black, or white “hair” on your tongue, it could be caused by certain antibiotics, diabetes or smoking.
- Blue Tongue: If your tongue has a bluish color to it, it may be an indicator of poor oxygen circulation. This could be caused by an issue with the lungs.
- Yellow Tongue: Yellow tongues are caused by a buildup of bacteria. This is most commonly associated with poor oral hygiene, tobacco or alcohol use, or dry mouth.
- Dark Red or Purple Tongue: This coloration could be caused by a simple vitamin deficiency. However, it can also be an indicator of Scarlet Fever.
- Burning Feeling: If your tongue feels like you just scalded it with hot coffee, you might be suffering from burning mouth syndrome. It could indicate an issue with the nerves in your tongue or could be caused by other issues, such as diabetes, infections, or acid reflux.
- Smooth Tongue: If your tongue looks glossy red and has no bumps, it could be a nutrient deficiency. Being deficient in iron, folic acid, or Vitamin B is associated with this. However, it could be caused by something more serious, such as celiac disease.
You should make checking your tongue part of your regular oral hygiene routine. Now that you know some of the symptoms that you should keep an eye out for, you can take better care of your oral health and your overall health.
If you have any questions about your tongue or overall health, please contact any of our three offices.