The tongue is one of the most neglected parts of the body. Most people focus on taking care of other body parts but ignore the tongue. This is despite the fact the tongue is also one of the most used body parts. All children use the tongue as an exploration tool. Whatever seems interesting is either licked or tasted first in a bid to discern what it is. As a child, you probably stuck out your tongue to your siblings or friends when you couldn’t find words to express how they made you feel. As you grew up, your tongue continued to serve you in other adult activities like kissing. All these show that the tongue is one of the most essential parts of the body, even though we never pay special attention to it. In addition to the above, the tongue also helps us in tasting and swallowing food. Another role the tongue plays is in portraying your health status. This is a little known fact to most people other than dentists and other medical professionals.
What your tongue says about your health
A healthy tongue should always be pink. If you notice white coating, then you may have oral thrush or overgrown yeast on your tongue. Another possibility is the failure to brush your tongue while brushing your teeth. Start by brushing your tongue. If the white coating disappears only to leave a white substance that brushes back, then you’re good to go.
The constant irritation of the tongue can lead to a condition known as Leukoplakia. Such irritation can be from smoking, and it shows as white patches. However, white patches could also be a sign of a more severe condition like tongue cancer. The remedy is to stop smoking immediately and also to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Only a professional can rule out the possibility of cancer.
Several factors can lead to your tongue becoming overly red. One of them is the Kawasaki disease, but lack of enough vitamin B-12 or folic acid can also lead to reddening of the tongue. Improving your vitamin intake is the best solution.
Red bumpy patches
There have been different kinds of myths about irregular red patches, but it could be a sign of high fever. It’s advisable to seek professional advice before taking any medication. Don’t believe any of the myths you hear about irregular red bumps.
Tenderness and sores
The type of pain you feel could determine the condition. For instance, if part or all of the tongue becomes painful immediately after you eat something, then it could be a sign of an allergy. The duration of the pain is also a determining factor. Pain that comes and goes, and pain that lasts means different things. Seek help from a professional dentist.
This is the strongest sign, but sometimes hair can grow on the tongue. If proteins build up in one section of the tongue, the bumps in that area become longer, thereby trapping food. The trapped food then leads to hair-like structures being elongated. Try brushing and scraping your tongue, but if that fails, see a dentist.
Asking your dentist to check your tongue during your appointments is the best line of defense because they’ll notice any irregularities sooner. Call and make your appointment today!