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What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health



Your tongue might hold more information and secrets about your health than you’d expect. The tongue’s surface provides information on the quality of the lining of the entire digestive tract. Since issues within the digestive tract can cause numerous health problems, the tongue is a great diagnostic tool to assess your health.

If you’d like to gain a better idea of your current health status, just stick out your tongue in front of the mirror for a second. Variations in colour or shape could indicate that you are dealing with particular health issues. Have a look at the following six signs to help decipher what your tongue is trying to tell you:


1. Black or brown tongue hair


It does sound a little disturbing: a tongue with visible hairs. This abnormality can occur in people who smoke or have bad oral hygiene. Fortunately, no treatment is necessary; however, using a tongue scraper or gently brushing the tongue’s surface could be very helpful.

2. Lumpy white tongue

This abnormality of the tongue’s surface is commonly associated with an overproduction of candida causing a yeast infection. The white coated tongue could be a result of antibiotics, since antibiotics kill bacteria selectively and aren’t able to fight off candida.

3. Wrinkles/cracks

Deep grooves can appear due to ageing. This doesn’t require any treatment, solely when food and bacteria are trapped in the cracks, which could lead to inflammation. Consequently, it can be useful to gently brush the tongue every day.

4. Painful sores

These painful sores not only occur on the tongue, but also on the cheeks and disappear within a week or two. A lot of people deal with canker sores once in a while. It could be an indication that you’re going through a stressful period of time, however even experts aren’t completely sure about the exact cause of canker sores.

5. Persistent red lesions

Don’t confuse these with canker sores, which will go away after two weeks. When the weird bumps on your tongue won’t go away, it might be a good idea to take a trip to the doctor straightaway, as the persistent red lesions might be a sign of cancer.

6. Bright red

A bright red, smooth and glossy tongue could be an indication of a vitamin deficiency, in particular a vitamin B12 or iron deficiency. Considering these two nutrients are needed in maturing the papillae on your tongue, a deficiency in these nutrients causes the tongue to appear smooth. Vegetarians and women are particularly at risk of becoming vitamin B12 or iron deficient.


The perfect-looking tongue

So what does a perfectly healthy tongue look like? It shouldn’t be red or pale, but nice and pink. Furthermore, the entire surface of your tongue should look pink, with a thin coating of mucus. The tongue should be smooth, without any cracks or scalloped sides, and the tastebuds should be visible. Lastly, it can’t be too dry or too wet.


Caring for your tongue

In order to keep your tongue nice and healthy, tongue scraping might just be the solution! This simple technique should be carried out before brushing the teeth. Studies have shown that copper tongue scrapers are especially very effective, because copper is toxic to bacteria and it provides your mouth with important enzymes.


“If you’d like some dietary and lifestyle recommendations contact us today to arrange an Epigenetics Wellbeing Assessment.”