Sunday, July 19th was “Stick Out Your Tongue Day”. Now there can be many connotations for this, however, we will stick to the health benefits of keeping an eye on your tongue to keep this convo as clean as we can. Ok? Apparently, there are several reasons to keep an eye on your tongue! Did you know that your tongue gives you signals to assist you in determining what’s possibly going on inside your body? It’s very true! Your tongue can be a key indicator of wellness or a detector of deficiencies in your health. I’m pretty sure that aside from brushing our teeth, not too many of us examine our tongues on a daily basis. Therefore, the next time you’re in the mirror, stick out your tongue, and take a look. Make note of what you see check to see if any of these fit your tongue profile! FYI: tongue profile isn’t a thing. I just made that up).
Here are some changes that can occur in the tongue that may indicate that there’s a
White coating on the tongue – When your tongue has a white, pasty coating, it could be a sign of a bacterial infection or an autoimmune-related inflammatory disease.
Severe dry mouth – If you take any kind of diuretics or blood pressure medication, this can cause the tongue to crack.
White patches –White patches can be caused by an overgrowth of yeast or thrust
Black, hairy tongue – Sounds impossible, right? Well, it’s not. A black, hairy tongue can
be caused by a yeast infection, diabetes, cancer therapies or poor hygiene.
Redness – Redness of the tongue may indicate a deficiency in folic acid, iron, or B-12. It can also be a sign of strep throat.
Webbed or Stripped looking tongue – If you see this occurring on your tongue, it could mean that your immune system is attacking your cells and could be a sign of an inflammatory condition called oral lichen planus. Lichen planus isn’t anything contagious but it can put you at risk for mouth cancer. Proper dental hygiene is the best way to treat this condition.
We should all get in the habit of checking our tongues on a daily basis. Any discoloration or pain should be monitored and medically evaluated if the condition persists for two weeks or more.