Afflictions of the Tongue

The tongue is often referred to as the strongest muscle in the human body due to the amount of force applicable for such a small body part, but this is because the tongue is actually a group of muscles. We, of course, use it to talk and to both taste and swallow food on a regular basis. The tongue is supposed to be a pinkish color, and you should see what are called papillae on it—small nodules that look like dots or super tiny bumps. Given how much work the tongue is always doing, if you experience tongue problems, you’re going to wish you never woke up, so check out the way these tongue issues manifest so that you know to look out for the following indicators and also how to deal with them.

In General

You may never have had any problems with your tongue before, and if that’s the case and you’re suddenly afflicted, you’ll likely freak out. When you calm down, read this. First of all, you should not brush anything off if your tongue is sore or discolored. Pay attention to these signs so that you’ll be able to figure out whether or not the problem is significant or not. There are all kinds of reasons why you might have these or other common tongue symptoms, but soreness and discoloration are among the most common generalizations of all tongue-related symptoms. In other words, you need more specificity before you can really know anything.

Most tongue issues aren’t too big a deal so long as you tend to them properly and not do anything to exacerbate them. That being said, discoloration and pain can portend pretty bad problems in fewer cases. To throw the juggernaut at you, one of the worst health problems whose symptoms can manifest on the tongue is AIDS, and perhaps just as God-awful is the prospect of oral cancer. Less daunting but still a problem, you could also just be suffering from any of a myriad of vitamin deficiencies.

Candidiasis

So, fret not if you’re struggling to pronounce this because we often just call it oral thrush. It’s the development of a yeast infection in your mouth, and it shows up as these unsightly white patches on your tongue. The patches usually have a consistency not dissimilar from cottage cheese, and even if you like cottage cheese, this may gross you out a bit or, at the very least, worry you to some extent. The patches don’t just pop up on your tongue; they also manifest on other surface in your mouth. They’re everywhere, and they’re usually a problem that hit either senior citizens or babies. If you wear dentures or if you have a particularly weak immune system, watch out for oral thrush.

Some people who have diabetes tend to have to deal with oral thrush, and others who might take inhaled steroids for asthma or lung disease are also at risk. Oral thrush usually shows up after you’ve used antibiotics of some kind, too, because antibiotics risk killing off too many of the good bacteria in your mouth. If you’re concerned about how to deal with oral thrush, though, you should just eat plain yogurt. Yeah, it can be that simple sometimes.

Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia makes oral cells grow too fast and become too numerous. This causes white patches of a different sort to pop up on various surfaces, including the tongue. It’s not all that big a deal except that it can potentially lead to cancer. You’ll want to seek your dentist’s medical advice and let him or her take a look. If the white patches are not candidiasis but, rather, oral thrush, then you’ll want to get ahead of this thing before it really becomes a bigger problem. Leukoplakia is commonly associated with tobacco products in fact, so if you’re not on the patch or the gum yet, think about it.