Your tongue does an endless amount of good deeds for your body like create saliva, swallowing food, and… detecting sickness? Yep! You read that right. The color and texture of your tongue can say a lot about you and your overall health. Look out for these warning signals while examining your tongue.
If you have painless white patches below your tongue, it could be leukoplakia, or an excess build up of cells. This is a very common side effect of people who smoke regularly and should be taken seriously. If not assessed by a dentist, they could possibly become cancerous.
Bright Red-Pink All Over
Have you ever noticed your tongue to be glossy, bright and virtually have no bumps? If so, you probably have a vitamin deficiency. Vitamin B12 are vital to grow papillae, which are the bumps all over your tongue with taste buds on top. Most people who suffer from this vitamin deficiency are vegetarians who do not receive accurate amounts of vitamins from meat proteins. In extreme conditions, it may be the beginning signs of an auto immune disease.
Brown or Black “Fuzz”
Usually, this just means you really need to brush your teeth. The stains come from consuming things like coffee or tobacco use. It is important to remember every time you brush your teeth, to brush your tongue as well. Its very common to forget to brush the bacteria off the tongue.
“Cottage Cheese” Tongue
If your tongue is continually white and bumpy after properly brushing your teeth regularly, you may have a yeast infection. Yeast takes over the tongue when taking antibiotics because the primary purpose of your medication is to kill bacteria, which balances out the yeast on your tongue. Alternatively, there is a fungal disease called Thrush with many of the same side effects that can be easily treated with no harm to the patient. People who are likely to have Thrush are young children, auto immune disease patients, people with diabetes, chemotherapy patients, and the elderly.
If you have a painful red lesion, it is probably a canker sore that will take care of itself in a couple of weeks. There are topical, over-the-counter treatments to speed up the healing process, but your health is not in danger. If the lesions are constant with less pain than expected and do not go away, you may have oral cancer, which is usually caused by tobacco use. HPV is another possibility, although it may not be one of the first symptoms.
Most people who suffer from a constant burning sensation are postmenopausal. Although it can occur in men as well, women are seven times more likely to experience this, especially after menopause. If you are not postmenopausal, you may have a toothpaste allergy. Many toothpastes contain high levels of SLS which people more commonly have gained an allergy to later in life. Sensodyne and other toothpastes are made for hyper allergenic people.
Your tongue is one of the most important organs of your body and it’s health should not be taken lightly. If you detect a strange change in the way your tongue looks or feels, contact Sugar Land Dental Spa to set up a cleaning appointment. Our skilled dentists can detect problems with your tongue and provide solutions.