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How Does A Healthy Tongue Look Like?

How Does A Healthy Tongue Look Like?

The tongue dictates the functioning of the human body. A healthy-looking tongue is an indication that your body’s metabolism is in a good state. Since it is the main doorway to your body, it is extremely vital to take good care of it and ensure proper hygiene.

A healthy tongue appears pink in colour. There are tiny raised protrusions on the top and bottom of the tongue that contain taste buds; these projections are called papillae. A normal healthy tongue should be pain-free and bacteria-free.

Even though, most of the time, these papillae appear quite bumpy, which in most cases is entirely harmless. But when the tongue starts to show colours other than pink, like white, bright red, and black for a significant period of time, then it is a major red flag.

8 Important Concerns Related To The Health Of The Tongue:

A difference in tongue colour from a normal pink shade is indicative of various diseases. A painful tongue also suggests some hidden health issues. Let’s find out what these changes are telling us about our well-being.

1. White Tongue:

The change in your tongue colour from pink to white can make you anxious about your oral health, and an obvious question that comes into your mind is, why is my tongue white?

A white tongue under normal conditions is an existing white coating that is usually harmless. The cause of the appearance of this white coating is usually bacteria, fungi, debris, and dead cells that are lodged between the tongue papillae. A white tongue can be harmless if it stays for a short time.

The following conditions can cause white tongue:

  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dehydration.
  • Pyrexia.
  • Breathing through your mouth.
  • Smoking.
  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Antibiotics usage for a long time.

2. Tongue Soreness:

Sores on the side of the tongue can arise due to multiple reasons. This is a relatively mild issue, but the pain in the tongue sores can be very alarming. Also, the recurrence of these sores is troubling. Tongue sores under extreme conditions can be a sign of oral cancer. Therefore, tongue sores should not be taken lightly.

The causes of tongue sores include:

  • Burning of the tongue from hot food or liquid.
  • Accidental biting of your tongue.
  • Irritation from braces or dentures.
  • Hypersensitivity.
  • Stress.
  • Mouth ulcer.
  • Excessive tobacco use.
  • Smoking.

3. Tongue Bumps:

Tongue bump is one of the common oral problems faced by people. Small, painful bumps cause discomfort to the patient. They have the same shade as the tongue but add rough texture to your tongue due to their bulgy appearance. If the tongue bumps are present for a long time and are causing immense discomfort. Then it’s a serious problem, and the person should consult the doctor.

The causes of tongue bumps are given below:

  • Tongue injury.
  • Allergy.
  • Viral infection.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency.

4. Fissured Tongue:

With age, the tongue undergoes some changes. Deep grooves are formed on your tongue; this condition is referred to as Fissured Tongue. Fissured tongue is related to other disorders, such as Down syndrome, psoriasis, and Sjogren’s syndrome. It is a harmless condition, but still, you should consult your doctor for betterment.

5. Yellow Tongue:

Yellow Tongue is a very rare condition. In most cases, a yellow tongue is an indication of abnormal bacterial growth. Therefore, a person should immediately consult a doctor in case of a yellow tongue.

Other causes of yellow tongue include:

  • Smoking.
  • Chewing tobacco.
  • Yellow fever.
  •  Psoriasis.
  • Poor oral hygiene. 

6. Black and Hairy Tongue:

A black and hairy tongue looks frightening, but it is usually harmless and less concerning in most cases. It occurs due to an accumulation of dead cells on the surface, causing an elongation of papillae along with bacterial staining. It is a temporary condition. 

Other reasons behind black and hairy tongue are as follows:

  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Diabetes.
  • Long-term use of antibiotics.
  • Chemotherapy treatment.

7. Geographical Tongue:

The geographical tongue is a condition in which the tongue becomes inflamed. Red, bald areas of different shapes and sizes bordered by irregular white lines appear on the top and sides of the tongue.

There are several factors that can cause geographic tongue. Some of these are given below:

  • Emotional stress.
  • Psychological factors.
  • Hormonal disturbance.
  • Allergies.
  • Diabetes.

8. White Spotting on Tongue:

The common cause of white spots on the tongue is Canker Sores, Oral thrush, and leukoplakia. In most cases, they go away on their own but, in extreme cases, can cause tongue infection. Visit your doctor if the white spots on the tongue do not go away in a couple of weeks.

5 Important Tips To Keep Your Tongue Healthy:

To keep your tongue healthy, you can incorporate the following tips into your daily oral hygiene routine:

1. Scrape Your Tongue Daily:

Bacteria accumulate in your tongue and cause a number of problems like bad breath, loss of taste, and change in the shade of your tongue. A toothbrush and tongue scraper does a great job of getting rid of accumulated dead cells and bacteria.

2. Keep a Healthy and Balanced Diet:

Diet has a huge impact on the well-being of the tongue as eating junk food can lead to bacterial and debris accumulation. This can cause many tongue infections and disorders.

Include vitamin and iron-rich food in your diet like Vitamin B12 and B9. Foods containing anti-microbial properties like garlic and ginger are great as these fight off bacteria and prevent infection.

3. Drink Plenty of Water:

Keeping yourself hydrated is the key to having a healthy tongue. Saliva is a part of the innate immunity of human beings, and dehydration halts the production of saliva.

It also destroys harmful bacteria by the lysozyme present in it. To keep your tongue healthy, you need to drink at least two litres of water daily.

4. Quit Smoking:

Smoking is injurious to your health, specifically your oral health. Studies show that tobacco products destroy the taste buds which eventually results in the loss of sense of taste.

5. Visit Your Dentist Once Every Six Months:

It’s crucial for your oral health to keep visiting the dentist after every six months. A monthly check-up will allow your dentist to check for any oral health issues and treat them before it gets any worse.

How Do I Make Sure That My Tongue Stays Healthy?

Take a look at your tongue during your daily oral hygiene routine and check for any signs and symptoms. Don’t ignore any unusual colour change, pain, or bump on your tongue.

Oral hygiene has a significant role in one’s well-being, so you should take good care of it and get it checked out regularly by Mississauga’s leading dental clinic to ensure you do not miss anything.

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Erindale Smiles Dental Clinic is your affordable option for dental care in Erindale, Mississauga. Book your dental appointment to protect those pearly whites today!