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How Your Tongue Speaks to Your Health

Tongues are used for tasting, speaking, and even for kissing. But did you know that your tongue can actually give you clues about your health? It’s true! Your tongue can actually help speak to your ongoing oral (and overall) health! It all depends on your tongue’s hue, texture, and feeling or sensation. Here’s what it might just be saying about your health!

Seeing Red?

When everything’s going swimmingly, your tongue should be a perky shade of pink. When your tongue seems blood red, it can indicate a vitamin deficiency like B-12 or folic acid. In the rarest of cases, it can be a symptom of something called Kawasaki disease. 

A splotchy, red tongue can let you know that you’re sick (if feeling unwell hasn’t already done that). You might notice red and rough patches on your tongue that have no semblance of rhyme or reason—which could be a sign of hay fever or scarlet fever. 

Tender Tongue

A tender or sore-feeling tongue can indicate a specific food allergy or the emergence of a canker sore. Typically, this will subside after a while. If it doesn’t, get in touch with a professional for a second opinion on what it could mean. 

Tongue Buildup

Sometimes referred to as “hairy tongue,” prolonged protein buildup on the tongue can enlarge small bumps to the point that they trap food, resulting in a hair-like look. Usually, a good remedy for this is a thorough tongue scraping or brushing. However, if it seems to stay, it might call for a check-up with the dentist

What Does a White Tongue Mean?

If your tongue seems to be covered in a white film, this could be due to what’s called oral thrush, which is a yeast overgrowth that takes place in the oral cavity. Your tongue might also be white due to inadequate tongue brushing. If it brushes away, you (and your tongue) should be fine. As a general rule, it’s good practice to brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth!

White patches on the tongue can be a telltale sign of something known as leukoplakia. This is a sometimes precancerous or cancer-revealing condition that’s caused by injury, irritation, smoking, and/or tobacco use. If you notice these patches, contact a dental professional to get to the bottom of the issue. 
Do your tongue, teeth, and mouth need a check-up? LeCroy Dental is here for your continued oral health! Schedule an appointment with our office today for a hassle-free cleaning and check-up. Plus, read up on our blog for more oral-related info that you can really sink your teeth into!