Any discoloration, lump, sore or pain on the tongue should be checked and evaluated by a doctor if it does not disappear in two weeks. This article will focus on her coloring.
Have you ever wondered why doctors examine your mouth during a regular checkup? Well, when the doctor asks you to say "Ah", they are looking at your tonsils and tongue. It is a routine that does not take too long, usually a few seconds. This is because the doctor can, with the naked eye, obtain valuable information about how the tongue appears.
The tongue is generally overlooked. It is not visible to others (mostly); We do not pay much attention to it unless we are brushing it, however it is crucial to our health and function. Without it, we could not eat, drink, taste, chew, or speak.
It has no "skin". Instead, it is covered with a pink tissue (mucosa) and is maintained with a large flow of blood. The mucosa and high blood content give the tongue a reddish-pink coloration.
It should always have a pinkish-red hue. Certain colors that can be considered abnormal are: black, blue, bright red, purple, white, and yellow.
Features with unusual colors:
A whitish tongue is the most common type of discoloration. It is often related to poor oral hygiene. Other conditions that can cause your whitening include:
- Mouth ulcers: visible sores. Mouth ulcers often contain white to yellowish lesions in the center. Although painful, mouth ulcers are usually harmless. Repeated cases, however, should be examined.
- Leukoplakia: a condition associated with irritation caused by chewing tobacco. The condition causes cells called mucous membranes to swell. The discoloration is evident when the tip of the tongue or the inside of the mouth shows whitish-gray spots.
- Oral candidiasis: it manifests itself from a fungus called Candida albicans, which generates white spots with a creamy texture on the surface. Yeast infection can happen to anyone, although people with suppressed immune systems, the very young, and the elderly are especially at risk.
Oddly enough, medical conditions generally do not cause a black tongue. Sometimes it may appear black due to the elongation of the papillae, small bumps on the surface. It can be caused by certain over-the-counter medications (for example, antibiotics and bismuth), mouthwash products, poor oral hygiene, or tobacco use.
A tongue that appears blue should always be considered a medical emergency. As is the case with other parts of the body, the blue color often indicates a blood cut somewhere.
Having the tongue with a blue coloration can be a sign of cyanosis, a serious condition that interrupts the supply of oxygen to our tissue. Cyanosis can be caused by blood disorders, diseases of the blood vessels, or heart conditions.
A bright red tongue can be due to a couple of things. Glossitis, or inflammation of the tongue, is the most common. It can also be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Family physician Dr. Danial Allan, Family Physician at the Cleveland Clinic, states that "deficiencies in folic acid and vitamin B-12 can make your tongue appear reddish."
More severe conditions include scarlet fever, which causes the tongue to have a red, lumpy texture. Dr. Allan says, "If you have a high fever and a red tongue, you need to see your GP." Scarlet fever can be easily treated with the appropriate antibiotics.
A glitter tongue is rare compared to other tongue discolorations. This color can be given for two things:
- Nutrient deficiency, particularly when we lack vitamin B2 (riboflavin).
- As a precursor to bluetongue, which is a potentially serious medical condition. Therefore, a person whose tongue shows purplish colors requires monitoring by medical personnel until the color disappears.
As with a purple tongue, yellow is a rare tint. It usually precedes the black one. Rarely, yellow can be a symptom of jaundice, a medical condition that produces a yellowish or green discoloration of the skin due to high levels of bilirubin.
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