The tongue is one of the vital parts of our body. It serves as the primary organ of taste as it is covered by taste buds. It also serves as a natural means of cleaning our teeth. Most importantly, it plays an important role for humans to express ourselves, as it provides assistance in phonetic articulation.
Without it, we wouldn’t have a chance to articulate any of the correct syllables and convey ourselves properly. Just like any other body parts, our tongue can also send us messages. Not through chat or text, but by its appearance. This muscular hydrostat organ is an inbox full of useful messages that we should be aware of. Why? Simply because its texture and color could be a symptom of a worse or even fatal condition.
Here are the ten of the most common “tongue messages” that we need to read and to immediately grant ample attention.
1 White or yellowish cottage cheese appearance with lumps
This condition might be a serious oral thrush or yeast infection. Also known as yeast Candida albicans, this is more rampant to exist in female vaginal area but could also be seen on our tongue and other parts of the mouth. Those people who are undergoing chemotherapy, taking antibiotics or having immune system disorders are prone to this condition. We should not be worried if we have friends or relatives with oral thrush because it is not contagious. However, they should seek immediate medical attention and do not self medicate, because it might be an early sign of HIV.
2 White patches
This is commonly known as leukoplakia. Doctors say that the main reason of this condition is smoking. Although those patches are benign (do not cause cancer), there are some instances wherein cancer affected areas are near to where leukoplakia is located. Hence, this also needs to be taken seriously.
3 White with smooth pattern or film
This condition is not serious if you can’t feel any pain. It just indicates that you need to take you oral hygiene to the next level J
4 Smooth red tongue-vitamin b12(Cobalamin)
It can be a common early sign of anemia or Vitamin B12 deficiency. A smooth and red tongue is good but when it becomes exaggerated, it turns out to be bad. Consult your doctor for proper medication.
5 Strawberry tongue appearance
There are two diseases in which we can link this condition. First is scarlet fever; an infectious bacterial disease affecting especially children, and causing fever and a scarlet rash. It is commonly caused by a bacteria called streptococci. This can be easily cured so immediate medical attention is advised.
The second condition is Kawasaki disease. The cause is unknown but one of the most common symptom seen on the tongue. This could lead to heart disease or even death if remained untreated. These two diseases are common to children 5 years old and below, so parents need to be extra cautious.
6 Purple tongue
This is an early sign of blood circulation problems. This could be alarming because the root cause might be Diabetes, hypertension, chronic bronchitis and other terminal illnesses. Getting medical attention as soon as possible is a must.
7 Black hairy tongue
The appearance might be scary but this condition is not life threatening. This is just a cause of excessive growth of papillae (nipple-like structure on the tongue). The reason behind it being black is because of bacteria from smoking, dryness of mouth, heavy coffee drinking, poor oral hygiene, or use of certain medications.
8 Persistent red big or small lesions
If these lesions are never healing, aggravating and painful, it is a critical scenario that needs further diagnosis and doctor’s attention. This might be an early sign of tongue cancer or HPV (Human papillomavirus) infection,
9 Wrinkles and cracks
Aging does not only show on our skin but also on our tongue. These wrinkles and cracks are signs of it but we need not to apply anti-aging creams. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is the secret to prevent “tongue aging” to occur. Be extra careful because it can be serious if bacteria start to form in between those cracks.
10 Pinkish, with hills and valleys
This is a sign that you have a healthy tongue. Continue a healthy lifestyle and maintain proper oral hygiene to avoid losing this blessing.
Every body part has the ability to send out message. Not verbally, but by their form, color, texture or change, they can express an idea that might be helpful. We need to be more careful before it’s too late.