The tongue may not be readily seen when you smile, but it is an integral part of your overall dental health. Any problems concerning the tongue can cause a significant amount of pain and discomfort, and may also lead to serious dental problems if not addressed early enough. This is the reason why any pain or discomfort, or any unusual or sudden changes seen on the tongue, should be checked as soon as possible by a dentist – so that the necessary treatments can be done to avoid any complications from developing.
What are the common problems that involve the tongue? Listed below are some of the problems that can involve the tongue, as well as the factors that can affect the development of the said tongue problems.
Hairy Tongue – Also called “black hairy tongue”, this dental problem is caused by the presence of fungi or bacteria inside the mouth, which in turn results to the tongue taking on a hairy and black appearance. It is more commonly seen in men, those who use intravenous medications, and those who are HIV-positive. Hairy tongue can also be caused by poor dental hygiene, the use of antibiotics or other medications, smoking, radiation therapy, or a dry mouth problem.
Geographic Tongue – A geographic tongue results in the surface of the tongue taking on a map-like appearance, caused by irregular patches and inflammation on the surface that can move from day to day. Some areas of the tongue surface may look smooth and flat-looking, and red lesions or sores can also be present. Geographic tongue can be caused by vitamin B deficiency, or when the tongue is irritated by extremely hot or spicy food items.
White Tongue – A white tongue results when white spots or a white coating can be seen on the surface of the tongue. This can be caused by a yeast infection (oral thrush), poor dental hygiene, or the consumption of food items that can irritate the surface of the tongue.
Does your tongue look healthy? Have you experienced any of the tongue problems mentioned above? Please LEAVE A REPLY below, and share your experiences and comments with us!