9 Things Your Tongue Is Trying to Tell You About Your Health

Did you know the color of your tongue can warn you of vitamin deficiencies and infections? It can also tell you about your hygiene or whether you have a bigger problem.
9 Things Your Tongue Is Trying to Tell You About Your Health
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Written by Lorena González

Last update: 09 October, 2022

You may sometimes be able to look at your tongue to see whether you have a health issue.

Don’t ignore this little organ. It can tell you all kinds of things about your health even through something as simple as its color.

Today, we’ll tell you about what each color could mean.

1. Strawberry red

Strawberry red tongue

If you look at your tongue and see a strawberry red color, it could mean that you are deficient in certain vitamins. Is it slightly shiny? If it is, this could be a sign that your diet is lacking iron and Vitamin B12.

In addition, if you notice your tongue is “flatter” than usual, that may be because your taste buds are smoothing out.

In serious cases, you might experience sharp pain when drinking hot liquids or spicy food.

If this is your case, we recommend seeing a doctor and reviewing your diet.

2. Brown

If you notice a kind of brown or black plaque on your tongue, this may indicate poor oral hygiene. It may also show that you’re a smoker, or that you’re a big tea or coffee drinker.

As a result, you may also notice an unpleasant odor coming from your mouth as well as changes in taste. This may include difficulty recognizing different flavors.

Try to moderate these harmful habits, not just for your tongue but for your health.

Brush your teeth daily – and your tongue, too!

3. White-ish

Whtie tongue

If you have a very light-colored tongue or see a coating on it that looks a little like cottage cheese, this could be a sign of a yeast infection (candidiasis).

This type of plaque appears when there’s excessive production of candida albicans.

Also Read: 10 Foods to Stop Candida Growth

It is an infection that may happen with prolonged use of antibiotics or due to diabetes, a weak immune system, or high blood pressure.

In any case, if your tongue is white, you might want to see a doctor.

4. Folds in your tongue

If you see folds or wrinkles in your tongue, it may just be a sign of aging.
These folds are usually not painful. However, if you have poor oral hygiene, too, your risk of infection goes up.

For example, a fungal infection could develop in a fold and cause serious pain and burning.

To fix this problem, all you have to do is follow good oral hygiene practices.

5. Small white spots

If you see small white spots on your tongue, this could be a big issue.

These spots are usually caused by excessive cell growth in people who smoke.

A percentage of these cells can be precancerous. However, there is a very low probably of this. If they don’t go away after a few weeks, you should see a doctor and get some tests done.

6. Blisters or red lesions

Lesions on tongue

If you see blisters or a series of lesions on your tongue that remain for a long time, these may be symptoms of a serious disease like tongue cancer.

In this case, see a doctor immediately and he or she will be in charge of conducting the appropriate tests.

7. Burning sensation

A burning sensation in your tongue may be the result of a series of significant hormonal changes. Typically, this may happen during menopause.

Another cause could just be using the wrong toothpaste. Some people are allergic to a substance called sodium laureth sulfate, which is what makes your toothpaste foamy.

If you think you may be allergic to it, try changing your toothpaste and seeing if that solves your problem.

8. Painful ulcers

Finally, if you have painful ulcers on your tongue, it may be due to stomatitis.

While this condition is usually occurs on children, 20% of cases happen in adults.

Ulcers are a sign of stress and a weakened immune system. If they last longer than a week, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.

9. Little gaps or irregularities

They aren’t very common, but they do exist. These are rare peculiarities, but are not dangerous.
If they don’t hurt, there’s nothing to worry about. Your tongue is just a little different than the rest!

Principal image courtesy of wikiHow.com

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.