The tongue is a vital organ in the body that plays key roles in facilitating digestion, forming speech, and providing the ability to taste. It contorts to assist swallowing, repositions to form phonetic sounds, and receives and relays salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami sensations from the foods we eat. While most people are cognizant of the kinetic and sensory functions of the tongue, many are unaware of the role that the tongue’s appearance can play in the evaluation of one’s health.
So stick our your tongue and check the colour. It could indicate a possible illness or condition.
- White Patched – Overgrowth of candida, which is yeast or thrush. Usually very treatable with an anti-fungal rinse or pill.
- Black and Hairy Looking – A yeast infection, diabetes, cancer therapies, or poor oral hygiene.
- Red and White Spots – Areas where your taste buds have worn down. No worries. There’s no need to treat it and it’s fairly common.
- Redness – A deficiency in folic acid, B12, or iron. May also imply fever or strep throat.
- Webbed or Striped Look – Chronic condition called oral lichen planus, caused by your immune system attaching the cells.
- Ridges – Result to teeth pressing into tongue, mainly while you sleep. They go away on their own.
- Bumps – Canker sores and herpes.
So what does your tongue colour say about your health?