Watch your tongue: it says a lot about your health

The tongue is one of the vital organs, but it is usually the last thing on our minds, only remembering it when we are brushing our teeth. Little do we know that the tongue can highlight our health condition.

Here are some things you need to check out:

White Patches

If you have white patches, chances are that you may have a fungal infection. These patches usually appear you take medication or you became ill as it throws off the bacteria balance in the mouth.

White tongue can be caused by other aspects including poor brushing and flossing, dry mouth, breathing through your mouth, dehydration, eating a lot of soft foods, smoking, and chewing tobacco, fever, and alcohol use. Irritation of the tongue could also result in white patches.

Hairy Tongue

If your tongue looks a bit hairy, you need not worry. It is a harmless condition that can be easily cleared.  The tongue is made up of conical shaped projections, which due to lack of stimulation and abrasion, build up into hairy-like structures.

The best thing is that they can easily be cleaned by having good oral hygiene. Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush should be an integral part of your daily oral hygiene activities. You can get yourself a tongue scraper to help out with the situation.

Burning tongue

Do you feel like your tongue is on fire when you take certain foods like pineapple or when even brushing with certain kinds of toothpaste? Then you could be suffering from the burning tongue syndrome.

The cause is not known but it is linked to the nerves in the tongue and health conditions such as dry mouth, infections, acid reflux, and diabetes. The treatment for burning tongue syndrome will depend on the individual and may include various options.


Bumps on the tongue could mean a lot of things. It could be that your tongue is irritated or that it has suffered some sort of trauma, like scalding.  If you smoke, you will get bumps more frequently as compared to someone who does not.

The bumps could also be canker sores, usually caused by minor injury to the inside of the mouth, acidic foods, and even stress. Fortunately, they disappear within two weeks or less.

However, if you have a bump that refuses to go away after two weeks, visit a doctor who will check for oral cancer.

My tongue is too big

If your tongue is too big that your mouth, you could be suffering from macroglossia.  This could be a sign of hypothyroidism, an infection, or allergies, which a doctor must diagnose before they treat appropriately.

Tongue with fissures

Fissured tongue is quite common but more prevalent with age and in men more than women. With this condition, the tongue has deep grooves. It is linked to various conditions such as Down Syndrome, Sjögren’s syndrome and psoriasis.  It is recommended that the doctors deal with the underlying condition in dealing with fissured tongue.  You are also advised to be gentle when brushing your tongue and to ensure you have removed all the food particles in them.

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