When it comes to oral health, our teeth and gums shouldn’t be our only concern. The tongue shouldn’t be ignored because it is an important part of oral health. Check your tongue regularly and make sure to pay attention to any bumps, lumps, or rashes that you might get on your tongue, because it could mean something more serious than a canker sore.
While many tongue problems are treatable, others can signal more serious conditions.
Color changes in your tongue can mean serious problems. A white tongue can be a sign of leukoplakia, oral thrush, and oral lichen planus. These conditions often come from tobacco use and can be resolved either with medication or on it’s own. Your dentist can usually confirm whether or not medication is needed and what the best treatment plan would be.
A red or strawberry tongue could be a sign of a vitamin deficiency, a geographic tongue, Kawasaki syndrome or scarlet fever. If you have a strawberry tongue and a high fever, head to a doctor immediately to start antibiotic treatment.
A black tongue, surprisingly enough usually means nothing serious, but can be pretty gross to look at. Usually this happens when the papillae that is naturally on your tongue become excessively long rather than being worn down by daily activities. When they grow they look dark and black and hair-like.
If you notice any abnormalities on your tongue, whether it is a strange color, bump, or rash, visit a dentist or doctor to figure out what is going on.