There is a reason why many wellness practitioners ask you to open your mouth and say, “ahh.” With a closer look at your tongue and other parts of the mouth, a lot can be revealed about your health. Whether you see red bumps, white spots, or other strange things in the mirror when you look at your tongue, it could be a sign of an underlying condition:
- Bumpy Tongue: If you see your tongue looks like there are a lot of bumps, this is something you shouldn’t be worried about. It’s normal to have a bumpy tongue and this condition actually affects up to 14% of the population in the US.
- Small White Patches or Leukoplakia: There’s something that irritates your mouth and this condition is usually seen in smokers. Although painless at first, this has at least 5% chance of developing into cancer. If you don’t smoke, there could be something harsh that rubs against your tongue and this will usually go away in two weeks at most. If not, visit a dentist ASAP.
- Cottage Cheese White: This is worse than the small white patches displayed by lumps of white all over your tongue. This could signal a thrush, which is a yeast infection in the mouth due to candida. This condition is often associated with antibiotics or it could mean you have very weak immune system. This is why a thrush is common in children and people with diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
- Strawberry Red Tongue: Having red tongue is not healthy and actually signifies that you have a vitamin deficiency, particularly iron or B12.
- Wrinkled Tongue: This just shows you’re growing old and is a normal part of our lives. However, if you don’t take care of your mouth, problems can occur. You could feel pain and even have bad breath with poor dental hygiene.
- Black, Hairy Tongue: Your tongue has brown or black fuzz. It’s not a health concern, but a warning that you don’t take care of your oral health. It can also be caused by drinking caffeinated drinks and smoking.
- Red Lesions: These appear from time to time, particularly with canker sores. But if you have them regularly, it is a sign that you have tongue cancer. Make sure you check with your doctor immediately.
- Mouth Sores: Having painful sores could mean that you are under stress. These sores appear on the cheeks and mouth and they are very uncomfortable, especially during the first four days. They disappear within two weeks.
Apart from the appearance of your tongue, you should also inspect how you feel. For instance, if you feel a burning sensation with your tongue, this could mean you are postmenopausal. Sometimes, this indicates that you are using the wrong toothpaste.