Significance of Tongue

Right from the colour of your tongue to its texture, it can signify whether you suffer from any vitamin deficiency, an infection or illness. So the next time you look into a mirror, don’t forget to check your tongue as well!

Red tongue

A healthy tongue is pink with a white coating. However, if you have a red tongue, it means that the body is dehydrated due to excess heat. And this in turn, increases your risk of dry mouth and mouth ulcers. Also, deficiency of vitamin B 12 is known to cause recurrent mouth ulcers and a red tongue, that in turn indicate anaemia. So if you have a red tongue, load up your intake of vitamins, particularly vitamin B12 and also remain hydrated.

Blue tongue
Yes, your tongue can turn blue if you have an underlying respiratory illness. It indicates that the fluids and even blood in the body are not properly circulated, creating pressure on your arteries. It could also be an indicative of stress or an inflammation/infection in the body. If you see your tongue has a bluish tinge then better visit a doctor at the earliest to get diagnosed.

White Tongue
A thin white coat over the tongue is normal, but a thick one is a strict no-no. One of the reasons for this could be not cleaning your tongue properly. Also, a thick plaque indicates oral thrush, a fungal infection, which can affect your taste and also cause bad breath.

Dry tongue
A dry tongue can be caused due to excessive stress and dehydration that directly affects your mouth. Also, swelling of the salivary gland is one of the reasons why your tongue could be dry. If you have been experiencing dry tongue since a long time, then it could be due to an immunological condition known as Sjorgren’s syndrome. So try relaxation techniques like yoga or breathing to calm your stressed self. And if the symptom still persists, then visiting a doctor is not a bad idea.

Sore tongue
Did you know smoking can irritate your tongue and cause soreness? A sore tongue can indicate high levels of stress hormones in the body that ultimately cause ulcers, canker sores, Crohn’s disease or colitis. However, if sores on your tongue fail to subside even after two weeks, then it could be a sign of oral cancer.

Black patches
Although a black and hairy tongue doesn’t indicate a major cause of concern, it might be a sign of bacterial growth. And this in turn increases your risk of suffering from a bacterial infection and even affects your taste and breath. It is mainly caused due to smoking, drinking excessive black tea or coffee or poor dental hygiene. It could also be due to prolonged antibiotic use. So the only way to prevent black tongue is to stay away from foods causing it and maintain proper oral hygiene.

Burning sensation
Your tongue could start to burn or sting due to two main reasons – use of wrong toothpaste or due to hormonal changes. When it comes to toothpaste, it could be due to an allergy to an ingredient commonly used in toothpastes namely SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate). Whereas, post-menopausal women are likely to experience drastic hormonal changes that in turn affect the tongue more  

View all 9 comments Below 9 comments
Please see a dental surgeon for your red tongue.. Am sure he shall be able to diagnose. Difficult to pin point like this on the cause.. more  
thanks for a nice article. I was having pink tongue with white patches all over. the thick one was removed surgically. How to avoid its recurrance is not known to me. I donot smoke or drink. more  
good one. more  
Neleema ji
Is red tongue has link with stomach problem
Or balance diet disorder , please highlight in detail. more  
sharing in other circles. Good one. more  
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