Tongue is “the strongest muscle in the body,” its made up of a group of muscles that allow us constantly to taste food, swallow and talk. A healthy tongue is pink and covered with small nodules called papillae.
It can be frustrating and uncomfortable when you experience any kind of tongue problems, such as trauma, discoloration or soreness. Variety of causes are behind common tongue symptoms. But luckily due to high blood supply to tongue , majority of tongue problems can be resolved quickly.
Continue reading below…
Causes of White Tongue:
A whitish coating or white spots on the tongue can be caused by:
Leukoplakia: causes cells in the mouth to grow excessively and formation of white patches on the tongue. , leukoplakia can be a precursor to cancer. So it is important to determine the under laying cause of white patches on your tongue, possibly can be due to can be due to tobacco consumption or irritation.
Candidiasis or Oral thrush. is a yeast infection that develops in the mouth, most commonly seen in infants and the elderly, especially denture wearers, or in people with diabetes and people taking inhaled steroids (e.g. Asthma) or even after the use of antibiotics, which may kill the “good” bacteria in the mouth.
Oral lichen planus. If you have a network of raised white lines on your tongue that has a lace-like appearance, it may be oral lichen planus. Doctors are often unable to determine the cause of this condition, which often resolves on its own. Practicing proper dental hygiene, avoiding tobacco, and limiting your intake of foods that cause irritation to your mouth may be helpful.
Causes of Red or Strawberry Tongue:
Multiple factors can transfer a normal pink tongue to turn red. In some instances, the tongue may even take on the appearance of a strawberry with enlarged, red taste buds dotting the surface. Possible causes include:
Vitamin deficiencies. basically folic acid and vitamin B-12.
Geographic tongue. This condition, is named for the map-like pattern of reddish spots that develop on the surface of the tongue. At times, these patches have a white border around them and their location on the tongue may shift over time. Though usually harmless, but if lasts for more than 2 weeks you should check with your dentist to investigate. Once the dentist has determined that the redness is a result of geographic tongue, no further treatment is necessary.
Scarlet fever. People who get this infection may develop a strawberry tongue. Contact a doctor immediately if you have a high fever and red tongue.Continue reading below…
Kawasaki Syndrome. This disease, usually seen in children under the age of 5, affects the blood vessels in the body and can cause strawberry tongue. During the severe phase of illness, children often run an extremely high fever and may also have redness and swelling in the hands and feet.
Causes of Black Hairy Tongue
Though troubling in appearance, a black, hairy tongue is typically nothing serious. The small bumps on the surface of your tongue, called papillae, grow throughout your lifetime. In some people, the papillae become excessively long, rather than being worn down by daily activities. That makes them more likely to harbor bacteria. When these bacteria grow, they may look dark or black and the overgrown papillae appear hair-like.
This condition is not common and is most likely to occur in people who do not practice good oral hygiene. People who are on antibiotics or receiving chemotherapy and people with diabetes may be more likely to have it.
Causes a Sore or Bumpy Tongue
There are many things that can make your tongue to become sore or cause painful bumps to form, including:
Trauma. Accidentally biting your tongue or scalding it on something straight out of the oven can result in a sore tongue until the damage heals. Grinding or clenching the teeth can also irritate the sides of the tongue.
Smoking excessively can irritate your tongue and make it sore.
Canker sores. Many people will develop these mouth ulcers on the tongue eventually. The cause is unknown, although they can be worse during periods and stress .Continue reading below…
Burning tongue syndrome. Some postmenopausal women develop this syndrome, which makes the tongue feel as if it has been burned.
Enlarged papillae. If one or more of your taste buds becomes inflamed or irritated, it can swell and form a painful bump on your tongue.
Certain medical conditions. Including diabetes and anemia.
Oral cancer. Though most sore tongues are nothing to worry about, you should consult a doctor if doesn’t go away within 2 weeks. Many oral cancers don’t hurt in the early stages, so don’t assume a lack of pain means nothing is wrong
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