What the Tongue Says About Overall Health

Have you always taken your tongue for granted? Well, a lot of us do!

We tend to think of this body part as a random feature, but it’s not. Your tongue can provide clues about your oral health and general health, and here are just a few of the examples:

A tender, sore tongue may be a sign that you have a food allergy or are developing a canker sore. This should go away after some time. If it doesn’t, see your dentist.

White patches on your tongue may be due to leukoplakia, a condition that may result from smoking or alcohol use. This may be just an irritation, but it’s advisable to see your dentist to rule out oral cancer. 

White coating on your tongue instead of the typical pink shade may point to oral thrush, a yeast overgrowth that’s often triggered by an infection. Other times, it could be that way because you're missing out on brushing your tongue while brushing your teeth. If the coating goes away when you brush, you’re fine.

Red patches that appear bumpy and irregular are usually signs of high fever. Take care of yourself if you see this.

An overly red tongue may point to Kawasaki disease, which results from a vitamin deficiency. Adding more vitamins to your diet can do the trick here.

"Hairy" tongue usually results from the buildup of protein on the tongue causing small bumps that may trap food particles that may look like hair strands. Brushing or scraping the tongue will help you get over this. If not, book an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. 

If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your tongue, do visit the dentist for a thorough assessment so you can be on the safe side, whether the issue seems troubling or benign. Your dentist will always be there to help you improve your dental health, which also goes a long way toward maintaining your overall health. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at 541-382-6565