Stick your tongue out in front of a mirror and take a good look at it. No, we're not joking, your tongue can tell you a lot about your overall health.
For example, if you are experiencing an ailment, it could be reflected on your tongue. A healthy tongue should be pink, with small nodules called papillae all over.
Here are some ways to spot problems by looking at your tongue:
White spots on the tongue:
White patches on your tongue are a cause for concern. These are caused by an overgrowth of thrush or yeast, which causes oral candidiasis.
To combat this, try to brush your tongue every day for a week before visiting your dentist. The dentist is likely to prescribe anti-fungal drugs to treat this condition.
A black tongue may be the result of a yeast infection, cancer therapy, diabetes, or bad oral habits. Dead skin cells and bacteria accumulate on your tongue over time, giving it a hairy look.
To get rid of a black tongue, brush your tongue regularly with a tongue scraper and try to keep your oral hygiene in check.
Red and white spots:
Red and white patches on the tongue may be signaling worn out taste buds, but they can also mean something else.
A deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B-12 may cause your tongue to look red, so get a blood test to clear any uncertainties.
Alternatively, you may be suffering from scarlet fever, an infection that causes your tongue to take on a red, blotchy look. Scarlet fever can be treated by taking antibiotics, as prescribed by a doctor.
If you have more than a few bumps on your tongue that are causing you pain, you may be experiencing canker sores. These small mouth ulcers form on your tongue and can cause extreme pain, but tend to subside in one or two weeks.
Bad habits like smoking can irritate your tongue, causing it to become sore. Damage from dental work or biting your tongue can also cause these bumps to form.
If a lump on your tongue persists for more than two weeks, it may indicate oral cancer. In such a case, schedule a visit with your dentist immediately.
Ridges can form when your teeth apply pressure on your tongue while you sleep. These go away without the need for treatment.
Make it a habit to inspect your tongue every time you brush your teeth. For more oral health and hygiene tips, get in touch with Advanced Dental Center. Our dentists have over 15 years of experience at our cosmetic and family dentistry in Germantown. Contact us here to book your appointment.