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Between worrying about heart health, liver health, prostate health, eye health, and now, tongue health, it's amazing that any of us get anything done during the day and don't just sit around examining various body parts. We're not suggesting it's alarmist to be aware of the warning signs, it can just feel overwhelming at times, you know?
How are we supposed to keep track of all the things that can go wrong without completely freaking out? Well, part of it is being thoroughly informed. Don't go running to WebMD, guys, that's only going to make things worse. Use the proper channels that focus specifically on the problem at hand. Otherwise, you're going to fall victim to the classic Internet mixup of typing in the symptoms for a migraine and being told you an inoperable tumor, for example. It's OK, we've all been there.
With that in mind, we decided to put together a comprehensive guide to tongue health below. If you're experiencing any of the follow signs, we've got you covered. It's not always cause for concern, got it? Then again, sometimes it is. So, yeah, educate yo' selves.
Even if a hairy tongue sounds like major cause for concern, medically speaking, it's not. According to Business Insider, you just need to invest more time in brushing/buy a tongue scraper.
White Stuff On The Surface
According to Steven Lamm, M.D., an internist and clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, as detailed in an interview with Women's Health, "This could be a sign of a fungal infection, which is a clue that something else is going on that has upset the natural levels of fungus-fighting bacteria in the mouth."
According to Business Insider a red tongue is perfectly normal. However, if it's alarmingly red, like the color of strawberries, you need to seek medical attention immediately. It could be related to scarlet fever, an extremely contagious bacterial infection.
There are a few issues associated with a sore or bumpy tongue, all of which warrant medical attention. Beginning with the least harmful, it could be canker sores. Beyond that, it could be squamous papilloma, which is an irregular bump associated with human papillomavirus (HPV). Even more serious, there is a possibility it can be either oral cancer or syphilis.
Dr. Lamm explained in his aforementioned interview with Women's Health that if the surface of your tongue starts to look cracked and grooved like a field going through a severe drought, you may have an autoimmune disorder. That said, if your tongue just generally feels too large for your mouth, it could be a sign of something more serious called hypothyroidism. Symptoms of which include: atigue, increased cold sensitivity, muscle aches and weakness, depression, and elevated cholesterol levels.
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