The tongue is covered with pink and moist tissue called mucosa. The tiny bumps on the surface of the tongue are called papillae. These bumps hold thousands of taste buds that allow us to taste sweet, bitter, salty, and sour tastes. There is also a fifth taste, which can detect glutamate-type of tastes like the ones in green tea this fifth taste is called umami.
The tongue has three main parts:
– Apex- tip of your tongue.
– Root- attaches the tongue to the end of your mouth.
– Body- the remainder of the visible tongue extending all the way to the back of the throat.
The tongue is composed of all three of the embryonic layers of the body:
Reading The Tongue’s Clues
Our tongues can provide lots of information about our state of health.
A Healthy Tongue
The tongue has a coating on it which represents the state of your digestive function. The healthy tongue consists of a thin, white film on its surface, which tells us that the digestive system is healthy and function well when digesting foods. The coating on the tongue is actually made up of mostly bacteria. A thin white coating is also considered normal and healthy so don’t worry if it has a thin white tint to it.
The Coating & Colors
A thick, yellow coating on the tongue tells us there is a predominance of heat in the body that could correspond to a bacterial infection or inflammation.
A thicker, white coat appears when there is a predominance of weakness of physiological function throughout the body. So a heavy white coat means that some system in the body is not able to perform its physiological role in maintaining health, or may be related to a viral infection.
A geographic tongue is where the coating is peeled in places and easily removed. This Coating means the individual has pushed their body to the edge of exhaustion. Although it can also be associated with autoimmune diseases and allergic disorders, these are severe manifestations. The coating most likely indicates that you need to slow down.
In Chinese pharmaceutical, the tongue is an augmentation of the heart, and the color of the tongue is said to represent the health of the blood. Since the blood is the thing that supports and keeps up the body, the tongue color likewise demonstrates general wellbeing. Tongue color takes quite a while to change, so it demonstrates the condition of one’s wellbeing more than as time moves along. The perfect color of a healthy tongue should be light red, which demonstrates a great flow of blood in the body.
A bluish tongue is a serious sign, and you should seek medical attention. A blue tongue is associated with cyanosis, which is a condition that is caused by low oxygen supply to the tissue. This condition can be caused by heart dysfunction, respiratory problems, blood disorders, and diseased blood vessels.
More Cause Include:
– Congenital heart disease
– Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
– Asthmatic attacks
– Airway obstruction
– Acute respiratory distress
Pale White Tongue
A tongue that is white or to a great degree pale can be an indication of an issue, and demonstrates a weakness in the digestive system. This can be accompanied by substantial exhaustion and abdominal distention/bloating.
If your tongue is very pale can demonstrate a blood inadequacy, which can influence in ladies more than men, and is habitually stamped by uneasiness, unsteadiness, disabled memory, a sleeping disorder, dried out lips and even anemia.
Other Possible Issues:
– Oral Lichen Planus: Condition that occurs without any reason and causes “Whitish” lines on the tongue along with red sores.
– Oral Thrush: A a fungal infection of the mouth, mostly visible on the tongue, and is caused by yeast/candidiasis infection.
– Leukoplakia: Mainly associated with chronic irritation of the tongue by tobacco products. Which causes an abnormal growth of the mucous membrane cells on the tongue surface
A Tongue With a Red Tip
When there is a red tip can indicate emotional turmoil. A red shiny tongue with no coating typically indicates a decrease in the body’s ability to regulate and offset thermogenic hormones throughout the body.
A Tongue With Red Sides
If it’s just the sides of your tongue that are red this can be a cause of an irritation caused by greasy or spicy foods and alcohol. Although could also mean that you have irritable bowel syndrome.
Other Possible Issues:
– Kawasaki Syndrome: A condition in which there is an inflammation of the medium and large artery walls. The main cause of it is unknown, but it has been believed to be a genetic susceptibility and is associated with autoimmune issues.
– Toxic Shock Syndrown: (TSS) a condition where toxins from certain bacteria cause an immune reaction and can be life threatening.
– Scarlet Fever: Condition that is commonly known to develop in a person with strep throat. Starts with a red rash that covers throughout the body along with a red tongue. Scarlet fever is caused by the reaction to the toxin from bacteria and causes infection.
– Vitamin Deficiencies: Folic acid, Vitamin B12, and niacin deficiencies may cause a strawberry-red tongue.
Bright Red Tongue
This tongue can indicate a pathological condition. At the start of the infection, only the tip will be red, but as the infection grows worse, it will cover the whole tongue.
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