Did you know that your tongue is actually one of the strongest muscles in your body? However, did you know that your tongue does more than let you taste your food? In fact, it can also discover a few issues about the health of your mouth and body. In fact, if your tongue is a strange color, and that color hasn’t been caused by food, you could be dealing with a serious issue.
A white tongue can be a caused by a condition known as leukoplakia. This condition is not harmful or dangerous to you, but it can be a sign of cancer forming in your body. Leukoplakia can also be caused by using cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco.
Another condition that can cause your tongue to turn white is called oral thrush. This is called candida, a yeast infection that can easily be treated by eating plain yogurt or by taking medication or using an anti-fungal rinse.
If your tongue is bright pink or bright red, you might have a vitamin deficiency. Usually, people who have this issue suffer from a vitamin B-12 deficiency. If you have a fever and a bright red tongue, we recommend contacting your doctor right away as this can indicate that you have scarlet fever. If a child under five has a bright red tongue and fever, they could have Kawasaki syndrome, which needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.
Would you be surprised to learn that your tongue can also turn black and fuzzy? While this may look and sound awful, this condition, known as the black hairy tongue, is usually harmless but will give off a bad taste in your mouth and give you bad breath. This usually happens because bacteria attach themselves to the small bumps on your tongue. You can generally avoid this issue by practicing good oral hygiene.
If you notice a dark blue or black discoloration to the underside of your tongue, this could be a sign of a tattoo resulting from a fragment of dental amalgam filling material that was composed of silver.
You could be experiencing inflammation (called glossitis) or be deficient in vitamin B3/niacin if your tongue becomes smooth and red.
One other phenomenon to be aware, but does not have to do with tongue discoloration, is the presence of bumps on your tongue. This could be canker sores or herpes (cold sores). These can be caused by many things such as biting, smoking, or even stress ulcers. You probably will not require medical attention, but do keep an eye on the situation.
You can try some home remedies such as gargling with warm salt water, chewing mint leaves, or eating soft, cold foods such as yogurt. You should avoid certain food which can cause a reaction like greasy foods and practice good oral hygiene.
To learn more about dealing with tongue discoloration in Burbank, California, we invite you to give Dr. Bostani’s Advanced Dental a call at (818) 918-5533. Our dentist, Dr. Payam Bostani, and our team will happily answer any of your questions and offer you unique, personalized advice. We look forward to hearing from you.