The tongue is unusually strong for it’s size, and is made up of muscles and taste buds that allow us to taste and swallow our food and even talk. Without it, none of this would be possible, or at the very least – would be incredibly difficult. Which is why tongue problems can be a concerning when they arise.
Whether your tongue is an odd colour, has a strange pattern, or feels sore and/or itchy, there are reasons and causes to your tongue problems one should understand.
What Causes a Coloured Tongue?
White – a white tongue can be a sign of leukoplakia, which causes the cells in your mouth to grow and could be an indicator of cancer. It can also be a sign of thrush, which is a yeast infection in the mouth. Regardless of reasoning, your dentist can help you better understand why you may have a white tongue at your next dental checkup – so hold off on any alarm until then.
Red – a red tongue, much like what a strawberry may look like with dotted taste buds, could be an indicator of a lack of B-12 or folic acid, or could be the lead-up to a more serious condition known as scarlet fever – in which case your doctor should be contacted immediately.
Black – a black (and hairy) tongue is usually caused by long tongue hairs (to put it plainly) that bacteria tend to grow on, making your tongue black due to this. Poor oral hygiene can be a contributor, or those undergoing chemotherapy or who suffer from diabetes. Regardless, it is worth seeing your dentist about.
Also known as a “geographic tongue”, this tongue concern creates something of a “map” on your tongue with both red and/or white mapping lines. Although it is not a serious condition whatsoever, you can inquire with your dentist to ensure this is in fact what you have.
An “unsightly” tongue can be a cause for concern, or could just be an area of discomfort or create a feeling of self-consciousness. At DentistsRUs, we want all our patients to be both comfortable and confident, so feel free to call any of our dental offices closest to you, and uncover the reason behind your “problem tongue” to ease your mind and oral discomfort!
Burnaby Sedation & General Dentistry | 250 – 3433 North Rd. Burnaby, BC
Langley Sedation & General Dentistry | #103 – 19978 72nd Avenue Langley, BC
Coquitlam Sedation & General Dentistry | #1412-2929 Barnet Hwy, Coquitlam, BC
Port Coquitlam Sedation & General Dentistry | #103 3380 David Ave, Coquitlam, BC
New Westminster Sedation & General Dentistry | 243-800 Carnarvon St. New Westminster, BC