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Is your tongue healthy? The tongue is a curious part of the human body. It allows you to distinguish between different tastes. It is also indispensable for forming sounds. So without tongue, no taste and speech! But did you know that there is also a relationship between your tongue and your health?
A lot of people don’t think about it, but the health of your tongue is very important indeed. In fact, your tongue says a lot about the general health of your mouth. It is therefore a good idea to study your tongue from time to time. That way, you can monitor whether it still looks healthy.
Every tongue is unique. You can take this quite literally, as scientists assume that everyone has a unique tongue print! Nevertheless, it is relatively easy to distinguish a healthy tongue from an unhealthy tongue. This is done based on the colour, size and structure of the tongue.
It may seem trivial, but your tongue colour can tell you a lot. A normal tongue has a light pink to light red colour. However, if your tongue is on the yellow side, it might indicate jaundice. In turn, a bright red tongue could be a sign of vitamin B deficiency, celiac disease or anaemia.
There are little bumps on the healthy tongue: these are the taste buds. If your tongue feels rough, it may be slightly irritated by certain foods.
An excessively smooth, pale tongue may be caused by an iron deficiency or anaemia. You may also suffer from a landcard tongue.
With a card tongue, smooth, red spots can be seen on the tongue. These are caused by the tongue being slightly inflamed. The taste buds are missing in these places. It is a harmless condition that often goes away on its own.
With a hairy tongue, it feels like there are hairs on the tongue. These hairs are actually enlarged taste buds. The condition is accompanied by discolouration of the tongue and is usually caused by poor oral hygiene.
Some people suffer from hair tongue. In this condition, there is a coloured mash on the tongue. This mash can be yellow, white or black in colour. A white or yellow tongue is often caused by bacteria, while a black tongue is more likely to be caused by coffee or tobacco.
A healthy tongue cannot be felt in the mouth. Nevertheless, the tongue may (temporarily) be slightly larger than normal. This is the case, for example, if you have bitten your tongue, or burned it.
A normal tongue naturally also has a healthy underside. In a normal, healthy tongue, there are two veins at the bottom. These veins should not look purple or be swollen.
To keep your tongue healthy, it is important to take good care of it. Use a tongue scraper regularly, brush your tongue with it and rinse your mouth occasionally with mouthwash.
Frequently asked questions
How do you recognise a healthy tongue?
A normal tongue is slightly lumpy, slightly pink to red and has no odour.
How do you maintain good tongue health?
To prevent an unhealthy tongue, good oral hygiene is very important. In addition to your teeth, brush your tongue and use a tongue scraper to remove dead cells and bacteria
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