Tongues have the obvious purpose of helping us to eat and speak, but they can also be indicative of our health. In this video, Dr Christian talks about how to check the tongue for any abnormalities.
A healthy tongue should be pink, clean and covered in papillae which contain taste buds.
Inflamed, red, black or white tongues, though usually just a sign of poor oral hygiene, could be a sign of other conditions like glossitis, geographic tongue or thrush. A swollen tongue can be a sign of an allergic reaction, and if it persists you should contact your GP for a check-up. The swollen tongue image from this video comes from noricum and is licensed under creative commons.
A “crack” down the middle of your tongue can develop with age. If you notice fissures in your tongue, it’s most likely harmless. Only about 2-5% of the U.S. population has a fissured tongue. It may be genetically inherited. If you notice a fissure that is accompanied by unexplained facial or lip swelling, make an appointment with your doctor. It could be the sign of a rare disease called Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome.
2 IF YOUR TONGUE HAS A THICK, CHEESE-LIKE COATING…
A thick, white coating on your tongue is a sign of a yeast infection called oral thrush. It appears most commonly in infants and young children, but it can also occur in those who wear dentures, have a weakened immune system or are taking antibiotics. If you experience this, go see your doctor to determine how to treat it.
Biting your tongue can cause a sore to develop, or sores that appear on your tongue may be canker sores. The exact cause of most canker sores are unknown, but stress and acidic foods can trigger them and make them worse. If your sores don’t go away within two weeks, make an appointment with your doctor. Sores can also be a sign of oral cancer.
If the edges of your tongue are scalloped or wavy, it could mean that your tongue is swollen. The swelling causes it to press up against your teeth, creating indentations. It usually occurs as a result of something else going on in your body, such as allergies, a thyroid problem, fever or dehydration. Take a trip to see your doctor to find out what’s causing it.
Great news: if your tongue is pink and bumpy you have nothing to worry about. The small bumps on the tongueare called papillae. They grip your food to make it easier to eat, and they contain your taste buds, which control your like and dislike of certain foods. They respond to both sweet and sour tastes.
White patches that appear on the side or bottom of the tongue may be a sign of leukoplakia, a reaction to a long-standing irritation of the tongue. Constant irritation causes the cells in the affected area to multiply more than usual, resulting in a white patch being formed. It’s not always a health concern on its own, but it could be a starting point for cancer to develop later on. Check with your doctor to make sure it’s not something more serious.
If your tongue or your child’s tongue turns a deep shade of red and is accompanied by a high fever, contact a doctor immediately. It may be a sign of scarlet fever — strep throat with a rash — or Kawasaki disease, which affects the blood vessels. Kawasaki disease is a non-contagious autoimmune disease that is seen in children under eight years old. If your child is experiencing these symptoms, take your child to a doctor to make sure it gets treated properly.
This article was originally published on healthysolutionsmagazine, here:http://healthysolutionsmagazine.net/tongue-say-health/
Posted in: Health