Signs Your Tongue Gives About Your Health

Your tongue condition can give early signs of many health conditions. It can even tell whether you are suffering from jaundice or vitamin deficiency.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Nov 28, 2022 19:01 IST
Signs Your Tongue Gives About Your Health

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Your tongue may hold a lot of secrets. It will not be surprising that it holds your health secrets too. Your tongue condition can give early signs of many health conditions. Your tongue can tell whether you are suffering from jaundice, diabetes, or vitamin deficiency. Of course, you would have to undergo some diagnostic tests to confirm it. But your tongue condition aid in giving you early warning signs of it. Here are seven tongue conditions that reveal your health condition.

White Patches on Tongue

White tongue is commonly linked to oral hygiene and is usually not a reason to worry. But in some cases, this is a warning sign of severe diseases like infection or cancer. As it is clear from the name, your tongue turns white in this condition. This happens because of the deposition of bacteria, fungus, dirt, and dead cells that get trapped between tiny bumps on your tongue.

Poor teeth cleaning routine, dry mouth, mouth breathing, smoking or chewing tobacco, and alcohol use are some of the reasons your tongue can develop white patches.

Conditions linked to the white tongue are oral thrush, lichen planus, syphilis, and leukoplakia, a condition in which thick and white patches develop in your mouth. 

Hairy Black Tongue

A black and hairy tongue can look alarming in appearance, but in most conditions, it is harmless. Bacterial outgrowth is the common cause of this condition. Your tongue may appear black, brown, or with fur. The hair appears on your tongue due to the multiplication of papillae.

This condition can develop due to poor oral hygiene, antibiotics intake, diabetes, yeast infection, and chemotherapy treatment.

Also Read4 Causes Of Canker Sores On The Tongue

Red Tongue

When your tongue may look red with white borders, this could be a sign of geographic tongue. Your tongue can appear bright red when you have certain health conditions, like vitamin B deficiency, particularly vitamin B-9 and vitamin B-12. Besides, this condition can occur in scarlet fever and Kawasaki disease, which is a serious condition affecting children under five years of age.

Yellow Tongue

Your tongue turns yellow primarily due to bacterial outgrowths and is often a less serious condition. Mostly, this also happens due to poor oral hygiene. This may be an indication of jaundice, which in turn can be an indication of another disease. A yellow tongue can also be an indication of autoimmune diseases, gastritis, and psoriasis.

Ridges on Tongue

In this condition, ridges appear on the sides or edges of the tongue, thus, this is also known as a wavy tongue. This happens when you clench your teeth too hard against your tongue, developing rippled indentations on your tongue.

Also known as a scalloped tongue, this occurs due to inflammation or swelling of the tongue, also called macroglossia. You may have macroglossia and scalloped tongue due to down syndrome, congenital hypothyroidism, anxiety, TMJ disorders, and sleep apnea.

Also ReadTongue Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Bumps on Tongue

Bumps on your tongue can be due to many reasons, such as smoking or tobacco usage, ulcers, accidental tongue bite, and burns on the tongue. Along with bumps, you can also experience soreness on your tongue. Commonly, these bumps go away on their own within a few weeks but if it does not, get it checked by a doctor to eliminate any possibility of an oral cancer diagnosis.

Webbed or Striped Tongue

If your tongue seems somewhat ragged and striped, it may indicate that your immune system is targeting your body's healthy cells, most likely due to a condition known as oral lichen planus. Women in their middle years are typically affected. The doctor may choose not to treat it if there is no discomfort, but they will likely keep a careful eye on your symptoms because you have a higher chance of developing oral cancer.

Image Credits: freepik

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