You would be surprised how much your tongue can reveal about your health!


The next time you don’t feel well, stick your tongue out and look at it up close in the mirror. You would be surprised how much your tongue can reveal about your health!

It’s all about your tongue, not necessarily a beauty feature, perhaps, but getting a close look at your own tongue will say more about you than you think.



An autoimmune disorder

The presence of deep fissures or ruptures on the top or edges of the tongue may signal the presence of an autoimmune condition. This symptom can, however, be easily misdiagnosed as oral thrush.



A Healthy Tongue

Let’s start with a tongue that shows vibrant good health: A normal tongue is pink in color with a light white coat on it, medium thickness, has no cracks, ulcers, or teeth marks. Test the surface by running your fingertip across – you should feel tiny nodules called papillae that feel slightly fuzzy. They’re the small hairs between your taste buds. OK, you’re good to go!

​If your tongue has a white coating or white spots



A white tongue, or white spots on your tongue, could be an indication of:

Oral thrush: a yeast infection that develops inside the mouth. It appears as white patches that are often the consistency of cottage cheese. “Oral thrush is most commonly seen in infants and the elderly, especially denture wearers, or in people with weakened immune systems,” says Dr. Allan. “People with diabetes and those who are taking inhaled steroids for asthma or lung disease can also get it. Oral thrush is more likely to occur after you’ve taken antibiotics.”


Leukoplakia: a condition in which the cells in the mouth grow excessively, which leads to white patches on the tongue and inside the mouth. “Leukoplakia can develop when the tongue has been irritated,” Dr. Allan says. “It’s often seen in people who use tobacco products. Leukoplakia can be a precursor to cancer, but isn’t inherently dangerous by itself. If you see what you think could be leukoplakia, contact your dentist for an evaluation.”

Oral lichen planus: a network of raised white lines on your tongue that look similar to lace. “We don’t always know what causes this condition, but it usually resolves on its own,” says Dr. Allan.

If your tongue is red

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