The tongue is probably the most flexible muscle in a person. It can taste, eat, speak, pronounce… Sometimes it can also communicate emotionally (as if something is wrong).
The presence of the tongue is usually very weak, but when it has a little ulcer, we can realize the irresistible pain-it turns out that we all use the tongue so frequently.
What is a healthy tongue like?
Healthy people’s tongues are pink and covered with a light white coating.
If you look closely at the surface of the tongue, you will find some densely covered small nodules, which are called [tongue papillae]. Among them, those with taste function are what we often call [taste buds].
Many reasons can cause tongue discomfort and affect people’s normal life. Fortunately, most tongue symptoms are not serious and can be recovered quickly.
Maybe when you brush your teeth in the morning, you will look in the mirror and pay attention to your tongue. But what is unusual? Next, let’s take a look together.
Whitening of the tongue
There are many reasons that can lead to white tongue coating or white spots on the tongue, such as:
1. Oral leukoplakia
It is mainly manifested as white damage on oral mucosa (which cannot be erased), sometimes occurring on tongue. The so-called [leukoplakia] actually refers to those white lesions that cannot be accurately classified.
Oral leukoplakia is common in middle-aged and elderly men and is mainly related to long-term external stimuli, such as smoking, eating sour, spicy and hot food, chewing Penang, etc.
Leukoplakia has the tendency of canceration (about 3% ~ 5% of patients with oral leukoplakia have canceration), so attention should be paid to it and early treatment should be carried out. Correcting unhealthy lifestyle and actively treating oral diseases are all effective methods to prevent the disease.
2. Oral candidiasis
The main manifestation of oral candidiasis patients is leukoplakia or erythema in the oral cavity, which may endanger the tongue surface or back of the tongue, and cheilitis or stomatitis may also occur.
Candida albicans is often parasitic in the oral cavity, intestinal tract, vagina and skin of normal people. Under healthy conditions, they will not suffer from the disease if they coexist peacefully with people. When people’s resistance decreases, they will cause diseases. The common [neonatal thrush] is an oral candidiasis.
Abuse of antibiotics may lead to dysflora, abnormal immune function, denture irritation, dry mouth, moist skin, etc., which may lead to Candida albicans infection. Therefore, this disease is more common in children and frail adults, especially people wearing dentures, people with immune deficits, diabetics and patients who have long-term use of inhaled glucocorticoids to treat asthma.
It is suggested that everyone must reasonably use antibacterial drugs to avoid abnormal flora. Do a good job in denture cleaning, maintain oral hygiene, do not smoke, eat less or do not eat food with strong irritation, which is helpful to prevent the disease. In short, find abnormalities in time to find a doctor.
A red tongue
There are many factors that can make a healthy pink tongue red. Possible situations include:
1. Map tongue
The disease is named after map-like red spots on the surface of the tongue. It is also called migratory glossitis because the red spots on the patient’s tongue are white around them and can change their position and shape continuously.
Usually these spots are not harmful and will relieve themselves after a period of time. However, if these spots do not disappear for more than two weeks, it is necessary to have the stomatologist examine them.
If your tongue feels pain or discomfort, you can try local medication to relieve discomfort under the guidance of your doctor.
2. Scarlet fever
Patients with scarlet fever may have symptoms of redness of the tongue. If it is accompanied by systemic symptoms such as high fever, swelling of pharynx and rash, they should seek medical treatment immediately and treat it in time.
3. Vitamin deficiency
Lack of folic acid and vitamin B12 can cause redness of the tongue. After diagnosis, it will improve after supplement.
4. Kawasaki disease
Kawasaki disease is a serious vascular disease, which is more common in children under 5 years old.
Children’s tongue papillae is protruding and congested, and looks like strawberries. It is called [strawberry tongue].
The disease has other symptoms, such as fever, rash, lymph node enlargement, etc. Remember to see a doctor in time, after the acute phase can be cured.
Blackening of the tongue
Some people’s tongue surface protrusions (tongue papillae) are inherently longer, so their tongue is more likely to contain microorganisms.
When some fungi overmultiply, the surface of the tongue will look dark and black, as if it had a layer of hair, becoming a “black tongue”.
Black tongue is rare, which is easy to occur in people who do not pay attention to oral hygiene, overuse antibiotics, smoke, and patients with diabetes or chemotherapy.
For black tongue, doctors usually terminate the inducing factors in time, carry out symptomatic treatment, and treat the existing underlying diseases.
Pain in tongue
In addition to oral ulcer and tongue trauma, tongue pain may also be related to some diseases, such as:
1. External stimuli
Molars, irregular dentition and heavy smoking may also irritate the tongue, causing pain.
2. Burning mouth syndrome
Some postmenopausal women will develop this disease and feel like their tongues are burning.
3. Inflammation of tongue papilla
If the tongue papilla is inflamed or irritated and damaged, the tongue will swell and ache.
4. Complications of other diseases
Systemic diseases such as diabetes and anemia may cause tongue pain.
5. Oral cancer
There is no need to worry too much about most tongue pain, but many oral cancers will not have obvious clinical manifestations in the early stage.
If there is a lump on your tongue or unexplained pain has not improved for a week or two, you must consult your doctor in time.
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