Believe it or not, you can tell a lot about a person's oral health with the way his tongue looks. The mouth, after all, is not all about the teeth. The tongue plays a significant role in a person's overall oral health. Here are some common signs that you will see in your tongue and what steps you need to take to address them.
1) White Coating on Tongue
Normally, tongues are supposed to be pinkish in color. However, there are instances wherein the tongue becomes covered in white coating. This might be because of the food you eat or not properly brushing your tongue, or a more serious condition such as an oral thrush. If it goes away by brushing your tongue, then you won't have any problem.
2) White Patches on Tongue
White patches on tongue can be an indication of serious oral conditions such as leukoplakia or worse, oral cancer. If you see white patches on your tongue and it does not go away despite brushing your tongue, it is best to see your dentist.
3) Overly Red Tongue
When we were kids, we get excited when our tongue gets overly red from the food we eat or the drinks we drink. However, overly red tongue can also be an indication that you have vitamin B-12 or folic acid deficiency. It can also be an indication of Kawasaki disease, an illness that causes blood vessels to be inflamed.
4) Tender, Sore Tongue
If your tongue feels sore and tender, it might indicate that you have a food allergy or you might have eaten something hot or cold. It can also indicate a developing canker sore. If it does not go away for a very long time, it will be best to see your dentist.
5) Red, Bumpy Patches
If your tongue has red and bumpy patches, it may be related to stress, hormones, or particular foods. Although they can be uncomfortable, these bumps aren't serious and usually clear up without treatment and within a few days.
6) Hairy Tongue
This might sound a bit creepy but a hairy tongue happens more often than you know. It can be caused by a protein build-up which can look like strands of hair in your tongue. Generally, these are cleared with brushing or scraping your tongue. If it does not go away, better see your dentist.
There you have it! These are just some of the signs to watch out for. Generally, these are harmless but if the sign becomes very persistent and does not disappear for a long time, better to see your dentist! So the next time you look in the mirror, don't forget to look at your tongue and check for the danger signs.