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Your tongue can actually be a valuable tool that can tell a lot about your health. There’s a whole method of health diagnosis based on how the tongue looks: its form, size, texture, and color. Bumps, patches, and spots in your mouth sometimes give clues to what’s going on with your overall health. Infections, stress, medication issues, and even aging can make their marks on your tongue.
Find out what your tongue is telling you:
A whitening of the top layer of the tongue or the presence of white spots or patches on the tongue can be seen with infection, irritation, or chronic inflammation of the surface of the tongue. Creamy white spots are known as oral thrush, a fungal infection can cause a burning sensation on the tongue as well as sore white plaques that can be scraped off. White patches that look lacy could be lichen planus, which occurs when the immune system attack against cells of the oral mucous membranes for unknown reasons. If you see hard, flat, white areas that cannot be removed by brushing or scraping, it could be leukoplakia, which is linked to cancer.
Fissured tongue is a benign condition affecting the top surface of the tongue. It has multiple causes, ranging from poor nutrition to anemia. The fissured tongue is also the most common oral finding in patients with psoriasis. They also are linked to Down syndrome and Sjögren’s syndrome.
Bright Red Tongue
A red inflammed tongue indicates lack of certain nutrients, especially iron and B12 vitamins.
This vitamin is essential for making the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body and plays a vital role in maintaining brain function. You may develop neurological problems, including dementia, if your levels stay low for too long.
A strawberry-red tongue could be an early sign of Kawasaki disease, a rare, serious illness that inflames blood vessels all over the body, most often in children.
A tongue burn is a common ailment. If you may feel a burning sensation on your tongue without an actual burn. This condition is called burning tongue syndrome,
It might mean a problem with the nerves in your tongue. Burning on tongue may also be caused due to some health problems like dry mouth, infections, acid reflux, and diabetes.
These little white or red bumps form when papillae become irritated and slightly swollen. It may be related to stress, hormones, or particular foods.
Eruptive lingual papillitis is most common among children and is likely contagious. It can be accompanied by fever and swollen glands. It is sometimes associated with a viral infection, they need proper check for oral cancer.
Under the tongue is a common spot for canker sores small, painful, reddish bumps that come and go on their own.
Macroglossia, meaning large tongue, that can cause cosmetic and functional difficulties including in speaking, eating, swallowing and sleeping. It is abnormal enlargement of the tongue in proportion to other structures in the mouth, leaves imprints of your teeth on sides of tongue. It usually occurs secondary to an underlying disorder that may be present from birth ( congenital ) or acquired.
It can be underlying condition of some illness, which may be hypothyroidism, an infection, or allergies.
Hair on Your Tongue
A black hairy tongue is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth which are temporary and harmless condition. Some research suggests that it can be caused by a change in the normal bacteria in the mouth due to antibiotic use for a medical condition, but no one knows for sure what causes a black hairy tongue. Those hairs go away when you brush or scrape your tongue. If you have hairy tongue, white patches that you can’t scrape off, it might be oral hairy leukoplakia. It can happen to people infected with viruses like Epstein-Barr or HIV.
Signs of Mouth Cancer
Many spots, bumps, and colors on your tongue are harmless. But if few symptoms like soreness, pain, bumps, white spots, trouble chewing or swallowing that don’t heal and last for more than 2 weeks , it indicated towards presence of mouth cancer.
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