Yes its right your tongue a mirror of your emotional state and health.7 Things Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health.
Tongue is one of the most important parts of a human body. It helps you chew, swallow, taste food and then talk about how delicious the meal you had. But your tongue can also do much more than those. It can provide a portrait of your overall health. Yes you heard it right.
Through your tongue symptoms of many chronic and acute illnesses can appear. Sometimes they’re the very first signs that something is wrong.
So what’s normal for a tongue? “Pinkish-red–not bright red–with bumps and waves,” says Sally Cram, DDS, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association and a practicing periodontist in Washington, DC. Anything else other than this could be a sign of one of these health conditions.
1. Vitamin deficiencies
A healthy tongue is pinkish-red in color. But a bright red tongue could be a sign of not enough, vitamin B12, folic acid or iron. these deficiencies can be adjusted with supplements and/or tweaks to your diet.
A bright red tongue could also be a sign of strep throat or Kawasaki disease. It is a rare and usually curable condition that results inflammation in some blood vessels. It typically affects small children.
But Don’t freak out if your tongue blares red in the mirror. It might be from that strawberry smoothie or some too-hot soup that burned!
2. Celiac disease
In celiac disease, eating gluten causes the immune system to attack the small intestine. Bowel symptoms like, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and pain are the symbols, but celiac can also cause you to lose the little hairs that mark the surface of your tongue.
This is called atrophic glossitis which is also known as “bald tongue” or “smooth tongue”. It causes taste-change and is painful. Cram Says “When you lose [those] hairs it can be very, very sore. Anything acidic or spicy or containing alcohol can really burn.”
if you don’t take vitamins and minerals and absorb them properly through your small intestine, Celiac can cause your tongue burn or feel dry. It can also leads to frequent canker sores on the tongue or other parts of the mouth.
You must follow a strictly gluten-free diet which is the only way to manage celiac disease.
Oral thrush is common among people with uncontrolled diabetes. As people often see their dentist more regularly than a doctor, you find it to be a first sign that you have the chronic condition. It is essentially a fungal yeast infection. It is also called oral candidiasis and looks like a heavy, white coating on your tongue. Some people term it as the consistency of cottage cheese. Thrush is commonly the effect of a weakened immune system.
People with diabetes tend to have a dry mouth. “Most folks with diabetes are somewhat dehydrated,” says Ryan Kauffman, MD, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. He also says that the tongue becomes withered up and loses some of its normal appearance.
4. Sjogren’s syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome is another autoimmune disease. Though can attack many parts of the body, it often affects the salivary glands and the tear ducts. This causes in dry eyes and dry mouth, and consequently dry mouth leads to oral thrush.
Cram explains, “When you don’t have saliva with its protective enzymes that fungus living at low levels starts to proliferate”. she says, if the little hairs disappear, your tongue may become red and smooth or, The white spots of thrush may appear.
Some people infected with Sjogren have a burning sensation and suffer from the cracking of the tongue.
Canker sores should not to be confused with cold sores. cold sores are usually caused by a virus whereas Canker sores can be a sign of stress. They can appear on your tongue or other parts of your mouth.
If you have these small, shallow sores, try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and avoiding greasy foods in favor of soft and cold picks like yogurt.
Decades ago, HIV/AIDS was an almost-certain and silent killer. , the white pasty layering on the tongue of oral thrush is one of the first, ominous signs of HIV/AIDS infection.
Like diabetes, HIV or AIDS makes your immune system weak. So it becomes hard for you to combat off organisms like yeast that normally co-exist in your body.
Red spots on your tongue and elsewhere in your mouth are also a sign of HIV/AIDS, as can white hairy-looking growths on the sides of your tongue called hairy leukoplakia.
Nowadays, there have been invented many effective treatments for HIV/AIDS, including medication to prevent infection .
You might not think of cancer when you go to a desntist. But your dentist could be the one in detecting head, neck, and oral cancers.
Any bump or sore on your tongue or elsewhere in your mouth that lingers longer than two weeks can be the sign of oral cancer and needs to be checked out immediately.
Uncontrolled growth of cells in your mouth can produce white patches on your tongue and it is called leukoplakia. Leukoplakia can be harmless, but it should be checked because is the sign of cancer.
Dr. Kauffman has seen an increase one form of oral cancer in particular. “There’s been a preponderance of HPV-related squamous cell carcinoma of the base portion of the tongue,” he says. “Kids [should be] vaccinated because we’ve seen this huge uptick that’s related to HPV.” Parents should follow the current guidelines recommend the HPV vaccine for girls and boys around age 11 or 12; it’s also recommended for women and men who weren’t vaccinated as preteens up to ages 26 and 21, respectively.
Sores and bumps on your tongue can also be from grinding your teeth or biting your tongue. “We see lots of benign masses and ulcerations on the tongue … just from bite trauma,” says Dr. Kauffman.