3 things your tongue reveals about your health



Ever wondered why a physician inspects a patient’s tongue during a clinical examination?

It is because the varying tongue colour can reveal health and the severity of the disease and hence aid appropriately assessing their condition.

However, when the tongue looks pink in colour, it ratifies its soundness. While a little change, pressure or pain in the tongue can point towards certain health problems.

Let’s find out what your tongue says about your body wellness.

1. The white tongue

The white coating or patches can be indicating a serious health condition or a hygiene issue such as:

  • Oral candidiasis

An overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans causes oral thrush or other yeast diseases. C. Albicans is always present in your mouth and is completely harmless. The Symbiotic bacteria in your body keep C. Albicans under control if your immune system is functioning properly. However, if your immune health is weakened or bacterial growth is disrupted, the fungus can spread out of control making the tongue appear white or patchy.

  • Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia generally occurs in the mucosal tissues of the mouth, developing thick, white or greyish patches. A mild leukoplakia is not so serious and goes on its own, but the advanced stages of this condition can be an indication of oral cancer or serious illness.

  • Oral lichen planus

An immunological response causes oral lichen planus, affecting the mucosal membrane of the mouth. Swollen tissues, white spots, and open sores are prevalent in this condition.

2. The red tongue

A red tongue can be a sign of certain nutrient deficiency or oral problems such as:

  • B-12 deficiency

The deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B-12 can make your tongue appear red. Hence you certainly need to increase your vitamin intake by following a nutritious diet practice.

  • Benign migratory glossitis

It is a harmless and non-contagious condition making map-like patterns on your tongue. This condition can be a significant symptom of various allergies, deficiencies, diabetes or stress.

  • Scarlet fever

A bacterial illness making your tongue look red and bumpy. To highlight, scarlet fever if left untreated, can lead to more serious disorders affecting the heart, kidneys, and other organs.

  • Kawasaki disease

A common disease in infants and kids causes the tongue to appear red, accompanied by other symptoms such as high fever, inflammation of blood vessels etc.

3. The black tongue

The papillae on the epithelium of the tongue muscle are known to grow throughout the lifetime. But an unusually lengthy growth of such hairy projections can be more susceptible to bacteria making your tongue black in colour. Hence good and regular dental hygiene is recommended to prevent such conditions. Black tongue is also seen in diabetic or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The abnormally uneven texture of the tongue Apart from unknowingly biting your tongue or blistering it by having something really hot, if your tongue looks bumpy or blistered then you simply need to consult a doctor. As it can be an indication of ulcer, cancer, or fungal spores.

Recommended for you