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Why does your tongue change when something is wrong?
Why does your tongue change when something is wrong?

One part of the body that often goes overlooked when it comes to your health is the tongue. Did you know your tongue could give you clues on health issues you may be having? Symptoms associated with your tongue can provide important insight that can help you address health issues elsewhere in your body. Let’s look at what various tongue changes can mean.

Color

Bright pink – If your tongue is bright pink in color, it could be a sign of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. The most common ones responsible for turning the tongue bright pink are iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12 deficiencies. Another possible cause is an allergic reaction to gluten.

White – A white tongue can be caused by a variety of lifestyle choices, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or poor oral hygiene.

Texture

Furry – A furry or hairy tongue can be caused by a variety of things, including lifestyle choices (smoking, drinking coffee, etc.) or treatments and medications you are taking (antibiotics and radiation treatment).

Other Symptoms

Swelling – A swollen tongue can be caused by a variety of health issues, including Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, strep throat, hyperthyroidism, and anemia. 

Sores – If you have sores on the tongue, it could be caused by nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, or irritating ingredients in your toothpaste or mouthwash.

Burning – A burning sensation in the tongue is more common among women who are postmenopausal and individuals who smoke.

Pain – There are a variety of reasons why you may feel pain in the tongue. Some are harmless issues, such as irritation from toothpaste, mouthwash, or a canker sore. Other causes may be more serious, such as diabetes, cancer, oral herpes, and neuralgia. 

Why is There a Connection?

A lot of issues that affect your health are connected to the tongue. For example, if you have a vitamin deficiency, it can affect your gastroenterological track, respiratory system, and dental health. The tongue is connected to all these systems. Some tongue changes such as furriness, pain, and sores are connected to the foods you eat and how well you clean the mouth. These directly impact the tongue because of its location in your mouth. Finally, the tongue is directly exposed when you drink alcohol, smoke, eat unhealthily, and have poor hygiene. Because of this, you are likely to see changes in the tongue.

Oral Care in Merced, California 

At El Portal Dental Group, our team of dental professionals provides a wide range of dental services that range from general dentistry to emergency dentistry. We even have a dentist on-call 24 hour a day, just in case you need dental care immediately. 

We regularly assess and diagnose conditions based on changes to the tongue. Our goal is to rule out serious health conditions and put you on the right track to better oral and overall health.

We welcome you to our relaxing and comfortable clinic in Merced, California. Our caring and compassionate staff speak English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Hmong. For your convenience, we accept same-day appointments and are open on weekends. To schedule an appointment, please call (209) 385-1479 or use our secure online form.