This four-part article series talks about the various ailments and conditions that can cause tongue problems, from unsightly discoloration to uncomfortable bumps and ridges.
Welcome to the second installment of our four-part article series on tongue problems! Now, we’ve all had tongue ulcers at some stage during our lives - usually caused by accidentally biting down on it - and so we all know just how hard it can be to forget it when we do have something sore or uncomfortable on our tongue. This is because we use our tongues all the time. It’s an essential group of muscles!
“Unfortunately, there is quite an impressive variety of conditions and illnesses that can affect tongue health,” explain cosmetic dentists in Arizona. “Thankfully, most of them are not serious at all and can either be treated promptly or will disappear on their own. Having said this, problems such as discoloration, textural abnormalities and growths can be indicative of far more serious ailments, including oral cancer, HIV/AIDS and vitamin deficiencies. If you notice persistent problems with your tongue, it is of vital importance that you seek professional attention.”
In our previous article post, we spoke to Sun City dental professionals about the various causes of red or “strawberry” tongue. In this article, we shall move our attention to white tongue, a condition marked by the development of white spots or a white coating.
What Can Cause White Tongue?
• Oral Lichen Planus: This condition results in the formation of a lace-like mapwork of white lines on the surface of the tongue. While the exact cause of oral lichen planus is uncertain, it often disappears on its own with the help of certain lifestyle changes. Try to avoid smoking and foods and beverages that contain irritants, such as alcohol, chili and acid. “Also, be better about brushing and flossing regularly and thoroughly,” advises the cosmetic dentist in Arizona.
• Oral Thrush: Thrush is an oral yeast infection that most commonly affects the elderly, infants or people with a compromised immune system. If your tongue and possibly mouth is covered in whitish patches that can be likened to cottage cheese, you may have thrush or candidiasis. Other risk factors for this condition include lung disease, diabetes and asthmatics on steroid inhalers. “Medications are available for the treatment of thrush,” says the cosmetic dentist in Arizona. “Also, if you’re on antibiotics for an infection and develop thrush, eating plain yogurt can help restore the balance of natural oral fauna.”
• Leukoplakia: Leukoplakia is characterized by the excessive growth of cells in the soft tissues of the mouth. This results in the appearance of white, rough patches on the inner cheeks, tongue and palate. “This condition can simply be caused by exposure to an irritant, such as smoking, but it isn’t by itself dangerous,” say Sun City dental professionals. “Having said that, leukoplakia can herald oral cancer, so it’s best to have yourself assessed before you assume it will simply go away.”
Stay Tuned for Part 3
To read more about the various conditions and illnesses that can affect your tongue, stay tuned for part 3 of this four-part article series! Next time, we’ll be looking at the problems that can cause a grizzly black hairy tongue.