Your tongue says more than the average individual might think about their health. Even if you pay careful attention to oral hygiene, you may rarely spend much time inspecting your tongue.
If you belong to this category, you may want to stop and take a look. Read on to find out about seven common tongue anomalies and whether they should be considered cause for concern.
Most raised areas on the tongue occur due to cankers or cold sores. They can be caused by smoking cigarettes, accidentally biting the tongue or excessive stress. There’s no need to panic.
Cold sores and cankers can usually be treated at home using remedies like gargling warm salt water or chewing mint leaves.
But if you find that at-home remedies are not effective, you can also visit Dentists to find out if there are other steps they need to take to alleviate the problem, such as avoiding trigger foods or changing oral hygiene routines.
It might be alarming to open your mouth and see large white patches on the tongue. Don’t worry! It’s nothing serious.
Those white patches signify oral candidiasis, an overgrowth of naturally occurring yeast. Often referred to colloquially as thrush, and this condition can usually be treated by improving home oral hygiene routines.
Make a point of brushing the tongue regularly for at least a week to see if it helps. If it doesn’t, an antifungal drug may be required.
Black, Hairy Tongue
A black, hairy tongue can indicate several conditions. They include yeast infections, poor oral hygiene, and more serious issues like diabetes.
Some cancer therapies can also cause patients’ tongues to become black and hairy looking like a side effect. Use a tongue scraper to get rid of the built-up dead skin cells that cause this admittedly alarming problem.
Red and White Spots
Red and white spots on the tongue are nothing to worry about. They occur in areas where your taste buds have been worn down. They require no treatment or changes in oral hygiene routines.
Ridges on the Tongue
You are most likely to notice ridges on your tongue after waking up in the morning. The ridges occur when your teeth press into the soft tissue of the tongue. They’ll go away with time.
A red tongue isn’t a reason for concern in and of itself, but it can indicate an underlying health condition. If you are deficient in B12, folic acid, or iron, the condition can turn their tongues red.
These problems can all be alleviated by making dietary changes or taking vitamin supplements. A red tongue can also be indicative of a fever or strep throat, though, both of which may require medical intervention.
Webbed or Striped Appearance
This symptom may be indicative of oral lichen planus, an inflammatory condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the tongue.
The condition isn’t contagious but can put you at a higher risk of developing mouth cancer, so it does need to be monitored. Quit smoking cigarettes, avoid irritating foods and make an appointment with a dentist.
Most tongue abnormalities are nothing to worry about, but it’s still important to pay attention.
You should check your tongue every day while flossing your teeth to see if there are any of the conditions and symptoms described above.