The tongue can be rightly regarded as the mirror of your systemic health. It serves as a great diagnostic tool in a variety of conditions.

NORMAL

Pink, muscular, without cracking/discoloration & has a thin clear coating.

DISEASE

Some conditions involving tongue

White  – anemia (reduced hemoglobin), lichen planus, diabetes, fungal infection etc.

Black  –  hairy leukoplakia, viral infection (HIV), fungal infection etc.

Red  – vitamin deficiency, viral & bacterial infection, cancer etc.

Swollen  – allergy, a side-effect of medication, cancer etc.

TONGUE MYTHS

A common myth seen is regarding tongue scrapers. People often feel that scrapping can alter taste sensation – FALSE!

Scrapping does not alter the taste. In fact, the coating harbors a plethora of bacteria – whose removal is paramount in oral hygiene maintenance.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?

It can provide early indications about many systemic diseases.

If you notice the following alterations, see your Doctor at the earliest-

  •  shape/size
  •  color/texture
  •  coatings
  •  ulcer/pain/burning
  •  altered taste.

Dr.Manthan Desai MDS

Smiles Dental Clinic-Centre For Advanced Dentistry, Mumbai.

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