SunWest Blog

What Can my Tongue Tell About my Health?


We all use our tongue to speak, but could your tongues be trying to tell you something? The way your tongue looks can say a lot about your health. A healthy tongue should be pink and covered in small nodules. Look out for any other deviations, as they may be cause for concern, and could even be an indication of a serious health problem.

What’s my tongue saying about my health?

  • If your tongue is bright red: It may be telling you that you have a vitamin deficiency. Iron and B12 help the little nodules on your tongue mature, so if you’re lacking those vitamins it may cause your tongue to be smooth and bright red. This can also make eating hot or spicy foods painful.
  • tongue healthIf your tongue has white spots or white coating: Your tongue could be telling you that you have Oral Thrush, which is an oral yeast infection. Oral Thrush has the consistency of cottage cheese and can be common in infants and the elderly. You may also get it if you have a weakened immune system, have diabetes, are taking inhaled steroids or have been on antibiotics.
  • If you have wrinkles in your tongue: It may be a sign of aging. Crack and fissures can appear in on the tongue and be harmless, but they must be cleaned well because these areas are prone to infection.
  • If your tongue has white patches: White patches, called leukoplakia are a result of something irritating your tongue. Although it may just be from bumping your tongue on a tooth or constantly rubbing against something, it can also develop into cancer. If white patched persist for more than two weeks you should see your doctor.
  • If your tongue has red lesions or bumps: If the bump goes away within two weeks, it may just be a canker sore. But if it persists longer it may be a sign of cancer. It is important to get it checked if it lasts longer than two weeks. Most oral cancers don’t hurt in the first few stages.
  • If your tongue has developed brown or black fuzz: Your tongue is telling you that you may not have the best oral hygiene. Although having a dark and hairy tongue may look bad, dentists say it is not a cause for concern. It developed from the nodules on your tongue harboring bacteria or becoming discolored from food. up your dental hygiene and it will probably go away.

To speak to your dentist about a concern you have about your tongue, make an appointment.

SunWest Dental Centers has nine valley wide convenient locations in Apache Junction, Biltmore, Buckeye, Chandler, Mesa, Prescott Valley, San Tan Valley, Sun City, and Tempe

Apache Junction

1601 W. Apache Trail, #2
Apache Junction, AZ 85120
(480) 982-4200
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407 N. 4th Street
Buckeye, Arizona 85326
(623) 327-3206
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2175 N. Alma School Road, #C108
Chandler, AZ 85224
(480) 782-6200
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600 E. University Drive
Mesa, AZ 85203
(480) 610-5100
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Prescott Valley

8256 E. Hwy #69
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
(928) 772-4433
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San Tan Valley

2510 E Hunt Hwy, Ste 28
San Tan Valley, AZ 85143
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Sun City

13000 N. 103rd Avenue, #85
Sun City, AZ 85351
(623) 583-6666
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7660 S McClintock Dr. Ste 101
Tempe, AZ 85284
(480) 831-8022
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