What your tongue is telling you about your health


Many people do not know that examining your tongue can give you a large insight on different health problems you could have. There are many indicators that your tongue does not look how it normally should. Checking your tongue in the mirror is an easy way to check the status and look of your tongue.

If your tongue has a thick white creamy texture that can be an indicator of oral thrush. Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth. This yeast can spread from your tongue to your throat and roof of the mouth because of a weakened immune system. It can be easily treated using antibiotics.

If your tongue is a shade of red instead of pink it could indicate strep throat. If you do have strep throat you should go to the doctor immediately to receive medicine. A red tongue could also be an indicator of a Vitamin B deficiency and a proper diet and vitamin supplements can help remedy that,

If you notice that your tongue is smooth instead of bumpy it could mean that you have an iron or Vitamin B deficiency. The bumps on your tongue are taste buds and help you identify different tastes. If not treated then there is a chance that your taste buds could be gone forever. Yet again a proper diet and vitamin supplements will help with this.

If your tongue is cracked more than usual that can mean an immune system problem. More than usual means that the cracks in the tongue are very noticeable and feel rough. If so you should be looked at by a doctor immediately. If it turns out that there is no immune system problem these cracks can become a breeding ground for bacteria and cause other problems.

It is normal to have a small bump on your tongue from time to time. These bumps may be caused by a variety of things such as biting your tongue or eating spicy foods. If these bumps are present for longer than a week then you should visit your dentist to have it examined.

If there is black hairy growth on your tongue you should visit a dentist. It shows that there is a large amount of bacteria growing in that area and should be taken seriously. This growth may mean that there are other problems going on with your immune system. Luckily, this bacteria can be treated easily with antibiotics.


Socioeconomic status correlates to health oral health disparities for adults 20 years and over, 2011-2014

Oral health disparities can partly be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status. Over a three year study researchers were given surveys about their access to healthcare, nutrition, and laboratory tests. This research stated that patients with low income had the highest prevalence of not having a dentist and wealthier patients had a much higher prevalence (Kailembo et al., 2018). These results were especially true of adult males, current smokers, as well as Hispanics, and people with a low educational level. These groups tend to have less disposable income so they are not readily going to the dentist frequently.



Kailembo, A., Quiñonez, C., Mitnik, G. V., Weintraub, J. A., Williams, J. S., Preet, R., . . . Dye, B. A. (2018). Income and wealth as correlates of socioeconomic disparity in dentist visits among adults aged 20 years and over in the United States, 2011–2014. BMC Oral Health, 18(1). doi:10.1186/s12903-018-0613-4