Tongue Problems

Having a tongue that is in good physical shape is an important part of overall oral health. A healthy tongue is slightly bumpy with a light pink coloring. There are numerous problems that can happen to the tongue from lacking oral hygiene, so keeping the tongue clean is a necessity in avoiding these illnesses.

White tongue

The tongue can develop a white, filmy coating on the top of the tongue for a variety of different reasons. One of the reasons the tongue can turn white is called oral thrush, in which a type of fungus in the mouth is allowed to grow out of control. This type of white fungus usually grows in a spotty manner and can be caused by ill-fitting dentures, using tobacco products or certain medications. The other two causes of white tongue, oral lichen planus and leukoplakia, are not necessarily caused by problems within oral care.

Red tongue

The healthy tongue is regularly a light pink color, but it can turn into a bright red which indicates a problem with oral health. One of the main causes of this dysfunction in the tongue is a vitamin deficiency, so having a healthy diet is a necessity in having a healthy, pink-colored tongue. The other causes of having a red tongue is having an illness, like scarlet fever, so keeping general health in check is a must.

Hairy, black tongue

The tongue naturally grows hair-like fibers, but they are typically ground down by using the mouth to eat and various other activities. Sometimes, these hair-like things do not wear down, and their long fibers attract bacteria and make it easier for them to multiply. As bacteria multiply, they become black or dark brown in appearance which causes the tongue to look dark and the hair-like fibers to be more pronounced. This can be avoided by keeping the tongue clean by brushing it and rinsing with mouthwash regularly to avoid excessive bacteria.

Bumpy Tongue

The tongue naturally has some small bumps on it where the taste buds are, but the bumps can become heavily defined and even painful. This can happen if an individual uses tobacco products that can cause tongue irritation. Another reason the tongue can become bumpy is due from stress, such as developing canker sores, which can be avoided by lowering an individual’s overall stress level. Bumps on the tongue are also a form of cancer, so if unsure check with a dental professional.

Sore Tongue

Tobacco use is one of the main culprits in causing the tongue to become sore and painful. Avoiding tobacco products is a necessity in maintaining oral health, and keeping the tongue feeling healthy and happy. Another reason the tongue may be sore is due to deficiencies in the body like anemia and diabetes. Keeping the body healthy is one of the best ways to keep oral health in check as the immune system is able to focus its attention on killing off any illness within the mouth rather than fixing the body.

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