What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

Say ahhh to see if you could have one of these common tongue-related health conditions.

What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

Your tongue could reveal surprising secrets about your health. From anemia, to autoimmune diseases, to food allergies, the tongue can sometimes be a good indicator of your overall health. Check out these common tongue-related health conditions to see if your mouth might hold the secret to what's bothering you.

Geographic Tongue

This tongue condition may look odd, but fortunately it's harmless. In geographic tongue, areas of the tongue lose the normal papillae, or bumps, that cover them. This causes smooth pink islands to appear on the tongue's surface and makes the tongue resemble a map. Geographic tongue usually causes no symptoms, but some may experience sensitivity when eating hot, spicy, salty or acidic foods. Geographic tongue usually lasts for months or years and goes away by itself.

Photo by:
Edgard El Chaar, DDS, MS Director, Advanced Program in Periodontics, New York University, College of Dentistry

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