The tongue is that body part where nobody pays attention to or checks.
Bumps, patches, and spots in your mouth can be harmless. Sometimes, they give us clues about our overall health. Infections, stress, medication issues, and even aging can make their marks on your tongue. Find out what your tongue is telling you and when you should see your doctor or dentist.
1. White Patches or Leukoplakia
White spots could be thrush, it can be a fungal infection too. It happens due to an illness or medications throw off the balance of bacteria in your mouth. White patches that look lacy could be lichen planus, that indicates that your immune system is attacking the tissues in your mouth.
2. Hairy tongue
If your tongue has a black, brown, or white fur, you might have hairy tongue. That causes because proteins that turn normal, small bumps into longer strands, where food and bacteria get caught. If you have a hairy tongue, it might be oral hairy leukoplakia. It can happen to people infected with viruses like Epstein-Barr or HIV.
3. Bumpy tongue
Under the tongue is a common spot for canker, small, painful, reddish bumps that come and go on their own.
A single, painful bump at the tip could be transient lingual papillitis, “lie bumps”.A virus can also cause lots of little bumps on the tip and sides. If you have a lump on or under your tongue that hurts and doesn’t go away, let your doctor or dentist know.
Your tongue has lots of nerve endings, and sometimes it really hurt if you bite or injure it. Some medications and infections can make your tongue sore, too. Sometimes pain in your tongue can be a sign of cancer.
5. Black Tongue
Sometimes your tongue goes dark after you take an antacid with an ingredient called bismuth. In some cases, it stains the tongue black when it mixes with saliva. It’s harmless and goes away once you stop taking the medicine.