Health Warning Signs From Your Tongue

You can certainly file this fact under strange but true: it turns out that your tongue can reveal a lot more about your health than we may have initially realized. I mean, it certainly makes sense that the muscle we use to communicate with other people should have the ability to communicate with our own bodies, albeit in a more indirect way.

Still, when I read an article by Women’s Health that revealed the truth about some of the ways your tongue can provide messages about your health, I was as intrigued as I was surprised (and admittedly, a little amused). However, I quickly remembered how often doctors ask us to stick out our tongues and say “aah” during a normal check up, and I realized why that made so much more sense now.

To start, canker sores, which are also known as cold sores, are generally some of the most annoying and even at times painful issues that the mouth may get. These bumps can actual signal a few potential problems. One of the most common reasons people develop canker sores is often due to high levels of stress. Sometimes the influx of stress hormones in the body creates them, and sometimes the act of grinding our teeth from stress does the trick. However, these sores can also mean that your diet has been too spicy or too acidic lately, so try cutting back on those foods to see if that helps at all.

Another common tongue issue is the appearance of a white coating over the top of the muscle. This could mean that your body is currently fighting some sort of fungal infection. Many times, the body is able to fight off these kinds of infections on its own, but if the coating hasn’t gone away in a week, be sure to visit your doctor to get treatment for the issue.

If you have started noticing that your tongue seems swollen, or has just increased in size, even a small amount, this could indicate a problem with your thyroid. In particular, a swollen tongue is associated with a condition known as hypothyroidism, so be sure to make an appointment with your primary care giver as soon as you can in order to check for this health issue. 

One of the most seemingly normal causes for concern is if your tongue is completely smooth. As natural as this may sound, your tongue should have a small amount of bumps on it. A smooth tongue often points to an iron deficiency. 

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Peter Halling Hilborg

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.