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What Your Tongue is Trying to Tell You About Your Health

By Alicia Green on August 13, 2018

We all know that we need to pay close attention to our body and what it is trying to tell us. We can gain helpful insights to our health and wellness as long as we know what it is we are supposed to be looking for. You pay attention to your organs, your skin, but what about your tongue? Below are some things that your tongue is trying to tell you about your health.

Canker sores

Canker sores can form for a variety of reasons. These sores may be a nuisance but usually disappear on their own within two weeks. Canker sores are usually thought to be caused by stress but other causes include eating too much acidic or spicy foods or a vitamin deficiencies.

White patches

If you are experiencing white patches on your tongue it could be a caused by a few different things. One culprate is called thrush. Thrush occurs when a fungal infection develops inside your mouth. The fungus Candida albicans normally lives in your mouth in small amounts however an infection (thrush) occurs when it grows uncontrollably. This is usually a mild infection and is easily treated. If your tongue has white patches that look like lace it could be lichen planus. The cause is still unknown and anyone can get lichen planus, however it is not contagious and the symptoms can be managed. If your tongue has hard white patches that you cannot scrap away consult with your doctor. This is a symptom of leukoplakia. Mild causes are usually harmless and will go away on their own. However, more serious cases can be linked to oral cancer.

Smooth tongue

Does your tongue look glossy and red? Are the normal bumps, called papillae, no longer visible? You could be suffering from smooth tongue. This is usually caused by a folic acid, iron, or vitamin b deficiency. Hairy tongue- We know what you’re thinking, a tongue can’t grow hair and you would be correct. The “hair” or “fur” is actually a protein that turns normal bumps on your tongue into longer strands. Bacteria and food then get caught on the strands. The “fur” on your tongue can be different colors such as brown, white, or black. This condition is harmless and you can simply brush or scrape your tongue to remove the protein strands.

Black tongue

 As mentioned above hairy tongue can be black. However, the most common cause for a black tongue is bismuth. This is a common ingredient found in antacids. This symptom will go away once you stop taking the medication.

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