What does your tongue say about overall health?

in Oct 9, 2021

The human body is an organised and integrated system. It is all wired together so much that by looking at the simple things like the sclera in your eye or the tongue we can predict a lot of diseases, deficiencies, and disorders. The colour or texture of one’s tongue can reveal a lot about the problems in one’s body. In fact, bad oral hygiene is also evidently visible from the colour of one’s tongue. 

Here are a few shades and symptoms of the tongue that can tell you about your overall health. 

What does your tongue say about your health


White Patches

If you feel like your tongue is white and smothered with overgrowth, then do not panic. This is the symptom of a typical Candida or fungal infection. Also, this can be treated easily by proper medication. The medication is either in the form of tablets or anti-fungal mouth rinsers. 

Hairy Tongue 

If your tongue looks dark in colour, rough and hairy, these are just protein strands. They elongate over a while if left unattended. And there is a chance for microbes to get deposited in the space between the strands that might worsen the situation. Use a tongue scraper or cleaner to remove the strands. In a few cases, a hairy tongue might be the result of viral infection as well. 

Alternative Red and White Patches

These red and white patches on your tongue are indicative of the damaged taste buds. This has nothing to do with oral hygiene or health. Eventually, the cells in your taste bud heal back to normalcy very soon. 

Dark Red Tongue

A dark red tongue is indicative of quite a lot of deficiencies. Anemic individuals or people with folic acid and Vitamin B deficiency tend to have a dark red tongue. Sometimes, people with sore throats also have a darker tongue when compared to healthy individuals. 

There are other symptoms like a smooth tongue, which is also a sign of nutritional deficiency. Sometimes it might also indicate that the individual is affected with celiac disease. 

The sore tongue might be due to a lot of reasons. It might be as simple as a damaged nerve ending or as complicated as oral cancer, which ranks as the 11th most malignant disease worldwide. Also, there is a rare incidence of tongue cancer in people aged above 40. This is due to genetic disorders as well as improper cleaning of the tongue.

 Diagnosis of a Tongue

Importance of healthy tongue

Most people tend to forget their tongue falls under the oral health care criteria. From the stats it is evident that of 94.2% of people who clean their tongue, only less than 10% of people use a tongue cleaner. There are regions in your tongue which are left unattended at most times. These areas might turn out to be a home for the bacteria and microbes in your mouth. For example, the rear end of your tongue. It is usually easy to wash off the microbes on the tip of the tongue by rinsing or by using a tongue scraper. Further, the food we consume and our regular activities also take wades these bacteria away. But one has to pay additional attention while cleaning the posterior end. A regular visit to the dentist is mandatory to maintain oral health and in turn your overall health.

 Importance Of A Healthy Tongue

Oral hygiene and tongue colour

Poor oral hygiene is the primary reason for the change in colour of one’s tongue from the usual pink to black, green, white, or yellow. It is better to seek medical advice when you notice a colour change. Use a tongue scraper regularly to avoid microbial deposition on your tongue. Sometimes this could lead to a lot of unpredictable health issues. Most oral problems occur due to the use of tobacco and related products. Avoiding such carcinogens can help you escape the risk of oral cancer. A regular visit to a dental expert can help spot issues in your oral health at a very early stage. You can evade higher risks and issues by taking simple steps in maintaining your oral health. 


How to effectively clean your tongue

Along with brushing your teeth, tongue cleaning is also essential. This is to avoid bad breath and deposition of food and plaque on the tongue. Tongue scrapers are found to be the most effective equipment to clean your tongue. Applying proper pressure to scrape your tongue can help in eliminating the deposits in your tongue. Also, use warm water to clean the device before the next use. Alternatively, you can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your tongue. Using a strong mouthwash regularly also helps in cleaning your tongue effectively along with brushing. Sometimes, crunching onto raw fruits and vegetables can also eliminate a small number of bacterial deposits on your tongue. These foods are nutritious and also help in eroding the bacterial and plaque deposits by friction.

Oral health should be considered seriously because it can turn out to be an indicator for a lot of other health issues. If you are facing any serious issues with oral health, visit your dentist at once. This can reduce the risk of further health complications. Frequent cleaning of your tongue will eliminate bad breath and give a fresh feeling to your mouth. Sometimes it can also help reduce the incidence of cavities. Further, maintaining proper oral health can help you escape from complications like oral cancer as well.

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