We don’t think about it very much, but without your tongue you would have difficulty to talk and eat, but it can also signal health issues which need to be addressed.
Is your tongue healthy? If so, it is slightly pink in color, moist, and covered with tiny projections called papillae.
When your tongue becomes swollen, stiff, or discolored, your tongue may offer you a health warning. A change in your tongue may signal something as a simple as a vitamin deficiency or poor dental hygiene, or it could be a sign of something more serious:
A whitish coating or white spots on your tongue could be caused by
Dehydration – drink more water
Oral thrush – a yeast infection most common in infants and the elderly, denture
wearers, and people with compromised immune systems.
Antibiotic use also may be causing thrush.
Leukoplakia – an excessive growth cells leading to white patches on the tongue frequently associated with tobacco use. Although usually harmless, it can be a precursor to cancer.
Drinking a lot of coffee, antibiotic use, smoking, and dehydration may cause this disorder. When the bumps on the surface of your tongue grow longer than normal, they are more likely to harbor bacteria and become stained by foods and drinks you consume appearing hair-like.
Good news: this is a harmless condition, which can be eliminated with brushing the tongue with a soft toothbrush and use of a tongue scraper twice daily.
A red tongue along with a high fever requires immediate medical attention, since it may signal Kawasaki disease or scarlet fever.
It may also signal a vitamin deficiency of Vitamin B-12 or folic acid.
Oral cancer is a possibility. Consult a dentist if a lump or sore lasts longer than two weeks.
Increased stress can cause canker sores, and smoking can irritate your tongue and make it sore.
To maintain optimum oral health, brushing and flossing your teeth are not enough.
In order to get and keep a healthy tongue you need to remove bacteria from your tongue. Use an tongue scraper or gently brush your tongue with a soft toothbrush twice a day to maintain good tongue health.