What Does Your Tongue Say About Your Health?

Your tongue is an important indicator of your health. Take a look in the mirror. If your tongue is pink, then it is healthy. But, if your tongue is discolored or has bumps on it, this could be a sign of an underlying condition:

Red Tongue
If you notice that your tongue is red in color, you may have a vitamin deficiency. This is usually because your body is lacking folic acid, vitamin B-12, or iron. It is important to keep up with your daily vitamins and to ask your doctor about what you should be taking. A red tongue may also be a sign of illness such as strep throat or even a more serious condition such as scarlet fever. In any case, if you’re feeling any tongue irritation, it is always best to visit us or your doctor.

White-Coated Tongue
If you suddenly develop a white coating on your tongue, this could be a sign of many things. White patches on the tongue could be an effect of a yeast infection called oral thrush. Oral thrush usually happens to babies and those who have a weak immune system or diabetes. Additionally, white patches on the tongue can be a symptom of leukoplakia; a condition where cells build up on your tongue and inside your mouth. Leukoplakia is usually found in people who smoke and can be a sign of oral cancer.

Bumps or Stripes on your Tongue
Bumps are usually a sign of canker sores or cold sores. These sores can be caused by eating hot foods or by smoking. Be aware of lumps on your tongue that last longer than two weeks. This can be a sign of oral cancer. Also, stripes on your tongue can be an indication of oral lichen planus. This is a serious condition where your immune system attacks cells in your mouth.

If you notice a change with your tongue or feel any discomfort, please call Premier Dental Associates immediately. We are always here to help and your health is our number one priority!  Remember to take care of your health at home by brushing and flossing daily.