Watching the tongue for facts regarding one’s health is an ancient practice, known to be used in China. Still, this is not a myth, since the way your tongue looks can reveal some aspects concerning your health. Even if you got familiar with the look of your tongue, you might want to check out what it may say because you may be suffering from something. In many cases, an illness may pass unnoticed until they reach a more severe level. So it would be helpful to know in advance, even if it is to look at your tongue if there might be any reason to visit your doctor.
#1 White tongue
White spots on your tongue may indicate the fact that bacteria that usually live on the tongue may have developed a bit too much. Try gently scraping your tongue each time you brush and see if the problem goes away. If not, it may be the case of a candida infection, or yeast as it is commonly known. It is treatable, so don’t worry. But, these spots can also occur due to smoking and alcohol abuse, and in rare cases, they may indicate oral cancer. So if a thorough hygiene doesn’t solve the issue, do visit the doctor’s office.
#2 A striped appearance
If your tongue has a rather ragged or webbed appearance, with striped on its surface, it might indicate a lichen planus infection. This condition occurs when your immune system decides to attack the cells in the tongue. It can your tongue is not painful, the doctor will not prescribe treatment, but will only monitor its evolution, to avoid any cancer risks. Still, if you experience pain, it is advisable to seek medical help as you will need treatment.
#3 Uneven edges
In case your tongue’s edges do not look even, presenting small ridge-like formations, or cracks, you shouldn’t worry too much. These ridges or indentations are usually made by your teeth pressing against the tongue, most likely during sleep. Sticky food can also get into small cracks and widen them even more, creating this appearance. So brushing your tongue may help keep food debris away from your tongue.
#4 A red color
Tongues usually have a pleasant pink color, so having a red colored tongue may indicate some issues. First, red tongues are associated with a sore throat. Thus, fever and pain in the throat may indicate a bacterial infection, which is treated with antibiotics. A red and shiny tongue may also show that you are losing your taste buds, due to vitamin deficiency. Folic acid, B12, and iron should be included in your diet through supplements. But it can also be a sign of a dry mouth. The tongue is rather sensitive, and if we don’t hydrate properly, it may affect it, causing a reddish color.
#5 Bump-like formations
If you stick your tongue out a bit longer, you will notice some buds that are larger than usual in the back, but those are not necessarily a reason for concern. They might get inflamed due to various reasons. Also, having canker sores may also cause the formation of bumps. Herpes is another source for bumps, and you will treatment for that. If you keep biting your tongue, something called fibroma will develop on the tongue, which will eventually need to be medically removed. An ulcerous formation can also grow and should be monitored not to develop into a cancerous one.
#6 A blackish color and a hairy aspect
Now, you might think that a hairy tongue is indeed a very awkward appearance. But this character is given the overgrown of bacteria in your mouth, due to bacterial infections, poor oral hygiene, use of antibiotics or certain medical treatments. It grows like this because cell tends to grow faster than the body can get rid of them. Improve the oral hygiene and the issue will solve on its own.
#7 Awkward spots
As you may have noticed, the tongue has a multitude of red and white spots all over. They might give the tongue the look of a small map. The condition is given by taste buds that are worn out, and it is not a harmful thing. Even if the spots appear to move, nothing is wrong with you. And because it is a common condition, there isn’t a treatment for it.