How your tongue can reveal underlying health problems

There are various ways through which your tongue can manifest different health problems. It is important to practice oral hygiene in order to mitigate some of the symptoms.

Regular flossing and brushing, avoiding sugary food and quitting smoking are some of the measures you can implement to promote the health of your tongue.

The following are some signs that reveal health problems with your tongue:


Thrush is basically a fungal infection that results in white spots and patches on your tongue as well as inside the mouth. The patches have an itching effect and can sometimes be painful. However, they can be easily treated using anti-fungal medication prescribed by a doctor.

Black tongue

A black tongue is usually a result of bacteria growth brought about by various factors such as poor oral hygiene, low saliva production, an all-liquid diet or medication side effects.

This condition can simply be treated by brushing your tongue and teeth, However, you can also consult your doctor in case there could be different cause such as side effects from taking other medication.

Nerve Damage

In case you are experiencing a burning sensation despite the fact that you haven’t taken any spicy food – It could be an indication of nerve damage or tongue disorder. It could also be due to other causes such as acid influx, dry mouth, diabetes or infections.

Kawasaki disease

If you have a bright red tongue – especially one that resembles a strawberry, then it could be a sign of Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki is a rare condition that inflames blood vessels. Besides, it could also be a sign of scarlet fever.

On the other hand, in case your tongue is smooth, red and painful, that could be an indication of Vitamin B3 deficiency.


This is a condition where your tongue is extraordinarily large. There are several factors that could result among them congenital problems such as Down Syndrome. If you were not born with an enlarged tongue, then the causes could be tumors, trauma or any other type of growth in the mouth.

Fissured Tongue

A fissured tongue is normal – many people are born with it that way. However, the concern with this type of tongues is that food and bacteria can get be caught up within the groves. That’s why it is important for anyone with a fissured tongue to brush at least twice daily and floss at least once in a day.

Canker Sores and Bumps

Nearly everyone has experienced a canker sore at least once in their life. It’s a common condition that is caused by irritation of the tongue brought eating of scratchy food, braces or failure to regularly floss or brush teeth.

The good news is that canker sores often disappear in a matter of days. In case they don’t, consult with your doctor to ensure that it is not cancerous.

In general, every one of us should take oral health very seriously. Your tongue affects the general health of your body. That means if it isn’t healthy, then your whole body is at risk.