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Crawford Leishman Dental

What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

Your tongue can tell you a lot about your health. A healthy tongue should be pink and covered in small nodules. Any other appearance or pain may be cause for concern. Though it could be just poor oral health or an allergic reaction, it could be also be something more serious. Next time you’re doing your nightly routine, take a minute to check out your tongue in the mirror. Look for a discoloration, cracks, bumps, or any change from the regular.

White Patches

Seeing a white patch on your tongue? You could have a yeast infection. A yeast infection can usually be treated with over the counter medications. If this symptom persists, you may want to see a doctor. Though it is rarer, white patches could potentially mean cancer.

Dark Fur-Like Patches

Usually, a product of smoking, drinking coffee or other dark drinks, or having poor dental hygiene, dark hairy looing patches can appear on your tongue. This dark hairy like substance is bacteria growth. These are usually harmless and can be fixed by cutting out the cause, practicing better hygiene, or scraping your tongue/brushing it when you brush your teeth.

Pale Purple Tongue

You may have a cold or be experiencing extreme heat if you have a pale purple tongue. When experiencing pale purple, if you are also feeling pain, the cause may be blood stagnation. If this is the case, you may need to increase physical activity.

Bright Red Tongue

A bright red tongue could mean a vitamin deficiency. This symptom is often referred to as “strawberry tongue”. If your body is low in iron or vitamin B12 you can experience a balding effect on your tongue.

Burning Feeling

If you’re experiencing a burning sensation you may be having an allergic reaction to your toothpaste. Even if you’ve used the toothpaste in the past, you could be developing an allergic reaction to it. A burning tongue could also mean that you are postmenopausal—hormonal changes may be the only problem.

Canker Sores

Canker sores can be caused by many different things—a change in hormones, stress, acidic or spicy foods, vitamin deficiencies, or autoimmune disorder. Most canker sores heal on their own, but if they don’t there are over the counter medication that can help.

Sore Tongue

Feeling soreness in your tongue could mean a few things. It could be a viral infection such as hand, foot, and mouth disease or cold sores. It would also be an iron deficiency. Anemia is another possibility. A sore tongue could also mean a possible food allergy.

Fissured Tongue

Having cracks, grooves, and clefts on your tongue mean a fissured tongue. Fissures can become more pronounced with age. About 5% of the US population has a fissured tongue. This can be genetic or caused by another condition such as Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome or benign migratory glossitis. Fissured tongue is also found in about 80% of children with down syndrome.

What Your Tongue Says About Your Health Crawford Leishman Dental dentist in Vineyard Utah Dr. Chris Crawford Dr. Rick Leishman Dr. Matt Fletcher

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