Health Warnings your Tongue May Be Telling You

Health Warnings your Tongue May Be Telling You

Health Warnings your Tongue May Be Telling You

Our gateway to all things delightful and delicious, our tongues are truly an important and often overlooked part of our bodies. we did a post a few weeks ago called Health WARNINGS Your Fingernails May Be Showing You and you all loved it so i thought i would do one about Health Warnings your Tongue May Be Telling YouA healthy tongue has a slightly pink color, is moist, and is covered in papillae which are very tiny bumps.

When you experience a change in tongue constitution, be it discoloration, stiffness, soreness, or other obvious indicators, these telling signs can help you get your body back to health. Make sure to check in with your tongue to be on top of any deficiencies, oral health problems, circulatory issues and digestive indications.

The signs are simple to read, just review these most common tongue symptoms and their origin, and remember to do a regular check in the mirror every once in awhile. While you examine your tongue, ask yourself the following questions and if symptoms are severe, you may want to visit your doctor.

1. Is your tongue bigger than usual?

Is your tongue bigger than usual?
noricum via flickr

If you’ve noticed swelling in your tongue, a perceptible size change, or if you just have a feeling that your tongue is bigger than normal, you may have an imbalance in hormones. This can occur when a deficiency of thyroid hormones, or Hypothyroidism is taking place. Have you noticed a decrease in energy or an increase in weight gain? Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism, causing these effects. If you notice that your tongue is a little bigger than usual, and these other symptoms have occurred, seek treatment from you doctor.

2. Does your tongue have deep cracks and ravines?

It’s not uncommon for a tongue to be fissured and grooved. Many have this patterning on their tongues without any other accompanying problems. In this case, one shouldn’t be alarmed, but may want to take extra care in their dental hygiene to make sure food and bacteria are regularly cleaned from such places. For some, however, cracks in the tongue can be an indication of an autoimmune disorder. If other symptoms of autoimmune disorder arise, you may need to seek professional medical advice.

3. Is your tongue white or dotted with white spots?

Is your tongue white or dotted with white spots
Christopher via flickr

Leukoplakia is the official term for the growth of cells which causes white patches to appear on the tongue. This symptom can mean many things. It may be simply an indication of tongue irritation from hot food or tobacco use. Dehydration is also a main cause for whiteness on the tongue. Simply making sure you drink an extra couple glasses of water can help these spots go away.

Another reason why whiteness can occur on the tongue is due to the presence of candida, or a yeast-like fungus. This often occurs after use of antibiotics as your body’s bacterial balance can be thrown off. Add probiotics to your diet by eating more fermented foods, yogurt, or taking a probiotic supplement. Lastly, if these white patches still don’t go away, consult your physician, as it can sometimes be an early sign of oral cancer.

4. Do you see and feel frequent bumps and canker sores on your tongue?

While canker sores can be caused by many things such as stress, spicy food, or a simple cold, it usually is an indication that your immune system is working harder than usual. Smoking, burning your tongue on hot food, and post-menopausal hormones can also cause these spots. What happens when you see these spots on your tongue is that your papillae has swollen.

If the sores are painful, there are luckily some soothing ointments that can help. Food that is not too spicy, sweet, or salty is good for these times when battling painful canker sores as well. If these sores or lumps don’t go away after a few weeks, check with your doctor to rule out the possibility of oral cancer, diabetes, and anemia.

5. Is your tongue completely smooth and a little pale ?

 Is your tongue completely smooth and a little pale ?
Mike-Burns via flickr

If your tongue is feeling more like a salamander than a healthy, pink, and papillae-covered tongue, you might want to pay a little more attention to your diet. This absence of papillae can be caused by a B12 or iron deficiency. Boost your intake of leafy, green vegetables, and you’ll see and feel favorable results on your tongue and, most likely, other areas of your health and body as well.

6. Is your tongue too red?

If your tongue looks like you’ve just eaten a bowl of beets (and you haven’t just eaten a bowl of beets), then you should take notice for other symptoms. Strep throat, scarlet fever, and other kinds of infections can all come along with the symptom of having a too-red tongue. If you notice that the pink color has turned into a deeper red, consult your doctor to see if you have an infection.

7. Does your tongue have black spots or is a little hairy?

 Does your tongue have black spots or is a little hairy?

You probably will have noticed this gross discoloration and hairy phenom even without a daily tongue check. If you’re experiencing a black or “hairy” tongue, what has happened is that your tongue has collected secretions of bacteria.

When papillae grow bigger than they should, it makes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. To make things worse, this buildup can also be stained by food, drink, and tobacco. It’s all a stark sign that your dental hygiene needs improvement. Luckily, some extra brushing, not only of your teeth but your tongue can help it go away on its own. Drinking water and keeping hydrated also helps.

Keeping your tongue, teeth, and mouth healthy will help you not only to identify possible health problems, but also to prevent some diseases. Heart disease is closely related to dental hygiene, so keep that in mind when putting your daily brushing into practice and make sure to include your tongue with a few gentle brushes over it too. As one can see from the list and descriptions above, keeping hydrated is not only necessary for all the organs of the body, but is also crucial for your tongue. By keeping up these easy and good habits, you can hopefully avoid many of the above problems.